The Ghosts Of Malcha Mahal

by Vargis.Khan

Imagine an entire day in our day to day lives without electricity. Sounds terrible? I agree. Now imagine an entire week. Sounds even more terrifying? What If I asked you to imagine what would it be like to live without any electricity at all in today’s world? If you said that it is not possible, I am in 100% agreement, but located in one of the busiest areas of Delhi yet standing wrapped in a painful silence is a house that would prove both of us wrong. This house is known by the name of Malcha Mahal.

There is a lot of argument around how Malcha Mahal came into existence. One theory is that it was one of the three and the biggest hunting lodge built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 14th Century, “PirGhaib” and “BhuliB hutiyari ka Mahal” being the other two. These lodges were fondly knows as “Shikaargaah” and most served as a place to rest for the King and his hunting party. This theory is however highly disputed because of the architectural style of Malcha Mahal which does not fit with the other monuments from that period. Second and more agreeable theory suggests that it was built by people of Malcha as a community house in 1600 AD.Malcha was one of the historical villages around Raisina Hill in Delhi which along with several other small villages of that time was moved by the British during the construction of Capital New Delhi in 1920s. Malcha Mahal was built by the villagers of Malcha in 11 acres of Land and for a long time it served as a community house. When the capital of India was shifted from Calcutta to New Delhi it was acquired by the government under the Land and acquisition act, 1894.

This house is now located on a ridge in an area from where the enormous city of Delhi is almost invisible, inaudible. For the residents of this house, the millions of people living in the city do not exist and vice versa. Barely 20 meters away from Malcha Mahal is a satellite ground station that is bristling with modernity, large dishes, CCTV and high-security defenses however the residents of Malcha Mahal prefer to live their lives without any electricity or regular water supply. Their security is limited to a few dogs, a few guns and a metal signboard that declares:

ENTRY RESTRICTED
CAUTIOUS OF HOUND DOGS
PROCLAMATION
INTRUDERS SHALL BE GUNNED DOWN.

This house is now included among India’s top most haunted sites. Why, even I am not sure. The only ghost that haunts this house and its residents is of misfortune and misery. There are only two people living in here now, a brother and a sister who are direct descendants of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Oudh. Nawab Wajid Ali was deposed by the British more than a century ago and all his property was seized. After Independence, Nawab’s great grand daughter Princess Wilayat Mahal remained in dispute with the Indian government for a long time in order to win back the property that was seized by the British. She, in an attempt to humiliate the government, lived in the waiting room of New Delhi railway station for a long time until the government agreed to compensate in the form of Malcha Mahal in 1985. But by then, Malcha Mahal, a centuries old building was in ruins and out of pain and Mental stress Begum Wilayat Mahal committed suicide by drinking crushed diamonds.She left behind her two kids, Princess Sakina and Prince Riaz, few Dobermans & German Shepherds and some royal treasure. These two kids are the now the sad residents of Malcha Mahal.




No one knows how true the stories are but it is said that after Begum Wilayat Mahal died, her dead body remained lying on a table for 10 days while her kids mourned in grief. A few days after she was buried, some grave robbers entered the premises and tried to dig up the grave in hope of finding a part of the royal treasure. They of course did not find anything but the decaying body of the princess post which Prince Riaz did not bury her again but rather decided to burn the body. It is also said that the night before Prince Riaz buried her, both the kids slept with their mother’s dead body and ever since then, Prince Sakina has only wore black.

Today her ashes rest in a crystal vial. The prince and princess were given a revolver and permission to shoot in self-protection by the Lt. Governor of Delhi. Today, the dungeon is guarded by over a dozen dogs and high shrubs and grills around the premise. They once had 27 dogs but today, only 9 are left. Others have been poisoned by local thieves, who have also stolen a huge silver table some gold and silver tableware from the palace.

This entire story is no less than a drama in itself. A princess living at a railway station for almost a decade with her kids and then asked to move into a palace that was filled with Bats, snakes and foul smell, a mother committing suicide and her kids sleeping with her body, some thieves vandalizing a grave, a freaked out prince pointing gun and leashing out dogs at intruders, all this sounds like a scene straight out a Bollywood movie and this is what in my opinion earned the notoriety that Malcha Mahal holds. The air of curiosity compels people to sneak in and find out that how can a prince and princess manage to live without electricity. Even the CISF guards at the nearby satellite station have no idea about the residents of Malcha Mahal. When asked, they just shrug their shoulders saying they do not know what happens in there.

I have never been to Malcha Mahal and I do not even intend to go. For me, there is nothing in Malcha Mahal that deserves a visit. It is just a ruined building, residents of which wants to be left alone so why can we not honor that request. If they chose to live with no electricity or modern day amenities, it is their own choice. Why should this be the reason for anyone to go take a peek into their lives? They are not the only people in our country that are living in misery, there are millions others. They are of course not the only descendants of ancient royal families who are now facing the ghost of being a commoner. Yes, Malcha Mahal is haunted but the ghost is the same that haunts millions other houses all over the world. Ghosts of poverty, mental stress, seclusion and falling apart in time.The residents of this ancient building in my opinion are only haunted by the ghost of being just another face in the crowd, being a commoner and not the royal family anymore.

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49 comments

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Ani Torres January 11, 2020 - 1:13 am

it is now 2020, they are still talked about…

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Chandan April 16, 2018 - 7:50 pm

After reading various articles and blogs I finally reached to your blog. The blog was really very good but I had read almost everything you mentioned in your blog. I also got a chance to go through the comments and there were some concerns, reasoning and surprise. I have a mixed feeling for the entire story, my only doubt is about her being genuine who was father of the Prince and princess forget about the lineage. Somewhere I read that she was wife of some Pakistani minister or Pakistani military officer although nothing concrete. There is an element of doubt.

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Vargis.Khan April 16, 2018 - 7:52 pm

Thanks for sharing the information Chandan Bhai. They are all dead now so I guess that is pretty much the end of it all now.

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Bushra Alvi Razzack November 6, 2017 - 8:20 am

Read today about the death of Prince Cyrus and upon searching the net for information about them, came upon this article. Interesting read Vargis Khan.

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Vargis.Khan November 6, 2017 - 3:53 pm

Yeah I heard that too. May he rest in peace; a peace that he never seem to have found in his life.

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Luv May 17, 2017 - 9:03 am

So how we help them ??

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Ayush October 16, 2016 - 12:30 am

We went there today the gate of mahal at night , while returning back we stopped at the corner of the road. Then someone from behind the fence shouted at us very badly “Bhag jaoo yahan se” .We got shocked nd sacred thn we didn’t reacted as no one was there nd after searching we couldn’t find any one there.

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Deeksha January 11, 2018 - 5:32 am

would you want to go there again?

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Madhavan Reddy June 26, 2016 - 7:05 pm

I nerve knew that there is some thing real like this exists…thanks for bringinformation this to notice l am interested in such facts do let me know if you have more like this on Delhi.

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grdoundzero July 19, 2016 - 11:48 am

whats the real story is nobody know or may be some one don’t want us to know the truth.

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Jatin May 10, 2016 - 7:56 pm

I went their today and i hv seen prince in that mahal their is 1 landline connection and their is 1 crystal also ,,, and very difficult to go their but i tried very best to reach his mahal and i went their ,,,

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Prateek Hira April 6, 2016 - 1:29 am

I have been reading your article, the comments and all the links provided by the readers. MY QUESTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN WHY ONLY BEGUM HAZRAT MAHAL AND HER LINE ? WHY NOT OTHER NIKAHI WIVES OF WAJID ALI SHAH AND THEIR LINES TOO ?

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Vargis.Khan April 8, 2016 - 1:43 am

I wish I had an answer to that

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brijesh March 7, 2016 - 12:55 pm

maine india tv par iske bare me show dekha tha but show sirf 10-15 minute chala uske baad channel ne dusra programme chala diya . us show me prince ko cycle par jate hue dikhaya tha aur lion k avshesh bhi dikhaye the. show pura nhi chla aur adhe me hi band kar diya.
kuchh jarur chhupa hua h isme aur kisi ne pura nhi chalne diya.??????????

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soni March 14, 2016 - 5:23 pm

All said and done Mr Vargis Khan..Prince Anjum quder of Awadh has challenged Begum Vilayat to prove her being descendant of Wajid Ali Shah and repeatedly Prince Anjum wrote letters to politicians and Begum just made up stories.
First if she had treasures and died eating diamonds why didn’t she sell off diamonds and lived a normal life. Second both children sakina and riaz spk flawless english couldn’t they find better job to earn bread and butter where they just wanted the Govt to bent down and give them a house free of cost..

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Vargis.Khan March 17, 2016 - 11:54 pm

Thanks Soni

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Vargis.Khan March 17, 2016 - 11:55 pm

Cant say

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Prem February 29, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Enjoyed it…! I’d love to see how the palace looks atleast from outside of premises… Thanks for info Vargis Khan

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Vargis.Khan March 17, 2016 - 11:55 pm

Thanks Prem

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Ajay December 19, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Today (19th December ) I went to this place with my friends . I don’t know why people say that the place is haunted.well one of my friends said that the story was true .my friend said that the princess said that she was a descendant of the Mughals and that the Red Fort belonged to her .

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Vargis.Khan March 17, 2016 - 11:56 pm

Thanks for the info Ajay

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Gaurav Jagwani October 2, 2015 - 12:41 pm

Hello Mr. Khan…

I read your article about Malcha Mahal and related incidents. First of all I would like to appreciate your efforts and I do agree with your opinions.

However, I am still confused about the reality behind the complete scenario as the letter narrates some other story.

Still, I just wish and pray that if they want anything, they should get the same, at least peace!!!

I strongly suggest people not to go at that place just for the sake of thrill and fun. Some one is living over there and they do not want people visit them, hence we should honour the same.

Regards,
Gaurav Jagwani
09582884804

Out of Town Tours!!!!

Camp Feel Factor

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Vargis.Khan October 5, 2015 - 2:17 pm

Hello Gauarv,

I completely agree

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Vargis.Khan September 26, 2015 - 4:38 pm

Thank you Rajvardhan

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Rajvardhan Lodha September 22, 2015 - 4:12 am

NICE WORK VARGIS KHAN

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Vargis.Khan September 26, 2015 - 4:38 pm

Thank you Rajvardhan

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Ankit Sudan August 17, 2015 - 8:26 pm

Check this Vargis this will help you.

Nawab Wajid Ali Shah had lived colorful life but why his descendants are living this pathetic?

Please go through it you will come to know exact picture.

‘The prince takes his bicycle to buy meat for his dogs’

Prince Ali Raza, one of the last descendants of the House of Oudh, lives the life of a recluse in Malcha Mahal, which lacks both electricity and water connections.

Five hundred metres down a little street that follows from Malcha Marg, after one passes scores of monkeys quietly going about the business and with the dargah of Khawaja Moluddin Chishti on the left a little before, where djinns are captured in earthen pots (matkas) by the residing peer for exorcism purposes, comes up the Malcha Mahal beyond which lie the forests known as the Ridge.

Malcha Mahal is a 600 years old Tughlaq era hunting lodge. For the last 30 years, since they were awarded the house by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, this dilapidated structure, known to house bats, snakes and lizards, has been home to the possibly last surviving descendants of one of the most colourful kings India has produced, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. Regarded as a fine dancer, the Nawab was also a proficient musician, and a playwright, in the Hindustani tradition; thumris composed by him are sung till date and appreciated by connoisseurs. The Nawab was also a devotee of Krishna.

Sometime in the ’70s, Princess Wilayat Mahal landed up in Delhi. For the next decade or so, she set up a home at the New Delhi railway station, which consisted of her children, servants and reportedly ferocious dogs. A report in the Society magazine about Indira Gandhi’s visit to her “home” in one of the waiting rooms inside the station mentions that one of the children died in the intervening period and the princess believed it was due to “sadness”.

A pall of gloom still seems to hang over the wretched fate of her two surviving children, Princess Sakina and Prince Ali Raza, although some reports in the foreign press also identify him as Prince Cyrus. According to press reports, Sakina is around 55 years old, whereas the prince is a few years younger.

This newspaper contacted Prince Ali Raza, who is known to be extremely shy and reclusive and has pointed his gun in the past at correspondents who have dared to trespass his property. This was after a source in the Indian Space Research Organisation, whose earth station is right next to the palace, said that Princess Sakina had not been sighted at all in the last few months and rumours were afloat that she may have expired. The pir Ali Khan at the dargah also told this correspondent that he had heard the same rumour. Vikramjit Singh Rooprai, an amateur heritage photographer, who has interacted with the prince in the past, also said that he had heard something similar.

The prince picked up his phone himself. He identified himself as Prince Ali Raza and asked what the matter was about. Upon being informed that the caller was a press reporter seeking an audience, he proceeded to say that he did not wish to have his privacy disturbed and pleaded to be “left alone”. When this correspondent called him the next day, seeking a phone interview instead, he declined again. “Many people, Indian and foreign, including journalists, wish to meet us, but we have nothing to do with anyone anymore. If you are a very decent person, you shall not press further,” he intoned, in clear and precise English. However, when told that his sister had not been sighted by his neighbours for quite a while and that they were worried about her well-being, he asserted that she was “very much around” but gave no further details.

The ISRO source, who has been serving at the institute for well over a decade and interacted with the prince, said that the prince left the house every day in the morning to pick up meat for his dogs —although their number could not be verified — on his bicycle, which he keeps chained next to the gate when not in use. He added that he also bred dogs for foreign embassies and he had sighted their cars with diplomatic number plates in the past. “However, I have not seen the cars in a while,” he said. Rooprai also added that he had seen the diplomatic cars come to the palace. The ISRO source mentioned that the prince was friends with a local forest officer whose lost dog he had searched for successfully, with the help of his own hounds.

The palace lacks an electricity connection but has a water connection, provided for by ISRO. “We had given them an electricity connection too and put up a street lamp outside the palace, but they damaged the street lamp as they feared disturbance from kids who used to gather around it at night. Since then, we cut off the electricity connection as punishment,” said the ISROs source.

He added that the prince sometimes came up for water, when their connection did not work properly. “In general, he is quite ill-tempered but he acts polite when he needs water,” said the ISRO source.

The pir, Ali Khan said that the prince visited the dargah earlier but had stopped doing lately. “He always came alone to pray here. But I have not seen him in one-and-a-half years. Around six months ago, I sent him a message through someone that he should not be so reclusive and mingle around a bit as he is now approaching old age and may need the help of others more than before but he never replied,

A senior officer in the Forest Department, who has supervised the Ridge, said that the department had no contacts with the inhabitants of the palace.

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Vargis.Khan August 24, 2015 - 10:54 am

Thanks Ankit

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Khalique August 16, 2015 - 3:27 am

After I read the ltr just thought that posibbly they had seculeded them selv frm the world because their fraudust might be enlighted as I doubt of real descednt.

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Vargis.Khan August 24, 2015 - 10:54 am

Quite possible

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kunal Gaur July 29, 2015 - 7:00 am

????

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kunal Gaur July 29, 2015 - 6:58 am

I went there with my friends last winters..as one of my friend tell us about these stories….its too much scary….some people i think they are indain army members they did not allow atleast to see the front gate of malcha mahal….i think their is supply of electricity because street lights are available their..but too put such a royal neavy in such a haunted place is not a good idea..

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Rahul July 2, 2015 - 10:15 am

Well till now the main question is “how come they are alive???”
See, we don’t even talk about basic needs but at least food and water is still nessary for surviving.

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Vargis.Khan July 3, 2015 - 12:55 am

True

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mohit krishan June 22, 2015 - 8:03 pm

I think they must be suffering from some mental disorder. I have heared a case where daughter live with her dead mother for 2month. She ask her for food , she talk with her mother nd make her bath. Its smwere in Maharashtra. When Mumbai police got the charge the lady was sent to mental hospital. Quite similar.

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Vargis.Khan June 23, 2015 - 12:53 am

Possible

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Abhiroop R. Choudhary June 10, 2015 - 11:42 am

The claim of the inhabitants beings royal descendants has been brought up seems like they are some very strange imposters see this link, a letter written by some certified living descendants of the house of Oudh http://oudh.tripod.com/bhm/hoax.htm

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Vargis.Khan June 12, 2015 - 1:16 am

I have heard about this letter before …

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raju21987ju June 9, 2015 - 9:06 am

the prince need a good mordern escort service to boost him up…lmao

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Sanwar Tagra May 31, 2015 - 9:05 am

They have a landline phone connection, plus they have local people providing daily amenities. I’ve seen people going in and out several times.

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Vargis.Khan May 31, 2015 - 4:15 pm

Thanks for adding this piece of info

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Manish May 6, 2015 - 7:22 am

how come people don’t know about what they eat and how they meet their daily needs , mysterious

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Vargis.Khan May 6, 2015 - 11:13 am

True

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Manish Kharbanda April 22, 2015 - 7:07 am

Surprisingly few questions creep in my mind…like..what do they eat???where do they get their grocery from Cos i went there n found it is totally disconnected frm any market??do they hv water supply???

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Vargis.Khan April 23, 2015 - 12:33 am

I wish i had an answer to these questions bro …

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Rakesh R. March 28, 2015 - 6:20 pm

Is the Prince available on Whatsapp? We could at least introduce them to Internet and all other modern technology. It’s long time since these siblings even had any view of television or telescope… We can show our gratitude by building a tomb in the name of Begum and making the place a heritage. What you say? Kindly reveal us the neighborhood and security surrounding the mansion and post some real pictures if possible, I am a denizen of Pune

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Vargis.Khan March 28, 2015 - 6:29 pm

LOL …. I doubt the Prince would be much interested in Whatsapp. I do not have any real pictures as I have no intention of visiting there and getting shot at …. 🙂

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Shyamal June 30, 2015 - 4:01 am

What gratitude? What have they done for anyone? And you can’t just build a tomb and call it a heritage site, it doesn’t work like that. And plus they have burned the body and they don’t want to be disturbed.

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Vargis.Khan June 30, 2015 - 2:00 pm

Interesting thought …..

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