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Feb 11, 2016 at 09:30 PM

The Horrifying Story Behind This 600-Year-Old Haunted Palace In Delhi Will Give You Sleepless Nights

Forget the campfire ghost tales of Sanjay Van, Delhi apparently has a bona fide ‘haunted’ spot right in the middle of the unassuming Chanakyapuri ridge area. Malcha Mahal has long been associated with the strange and disturbed, thanks to a range of reasons.

The place is located within thick forestry, has a legacy of anguish and death, and there are various accounts of people going in for a thrill, but coming out scared and shaken, or never even coming out at all, as in the case of some missing journalists.

malcha mahal haunted story

These macabre rumours probably arose due to the life and death of the Begum who lived there. She was known to be an eccentric woman with a strange and unusual demeanour, and her committing suicide only added to the mystery.

The grave of the Begum who lived here was even dug up and robbed once, so her children consequently cremated the body and placed the ashes in a crystal vial.

malcha mahal haunted story

This children of the Begum herself lived on in a frugal and reclusive existence, with no modern amenities and 9 massive dogs for company. All this and more has given rise to Malcha Mahal adopting a sinister and haunted image, but the true story of this place is one of despair and despondency.

malcha mahal haunted story

Malcha Mahal, once belonging to one of the most colourful kings of India, is now a run-down, dilapidated and weedy mess of a place, with a history and legacy to match.

malcha mahal haunted story

Originally a Tughlaq era hunting lodge, it was used as a community house by the people of Malcha by around 1600 AD, housing the people of the Malcha village. What is now a crumbling stone monument overrun with bats and lizards, Malcha Mahal’s 600 year history is steeped in tragedy and misfortune.

After the area was acquired by the British India government under the Land and acquisition act, 1894, those who refused to give up their land here were killed, and those who willingly gave it up had to resort to living in poverty and misery in nearby villages.

malcha mahal haunted story

Begum Wilayat Mahal of Awadh, the Begum of Oudh and the great granddaughter of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was given the palace by the Government of India in May 1985. This was done as compensation since these lands were seized from the Nawab by the British more than a century ago. However, misfortune and adversity would soon rear it’s ugly head yet again.

On December 10, 2008, Begum Wilayat committed suicide by drinking crushed diamonds. She was 62 years old. She is survived by her daughter Princess Sakina Mahal, and son Prince Ali Raza, who still live in these ruins.

malcha mahal haunted story

In the 70s, the Begum spent 10 years protesting at New Delhi Railway Station for the return of her ancestral property before Rajiv Gandhi finally took notice of her case, and the decade certainly took its toll, mentally and physically. 

According to some accounts, the strain of fighting for possession of, and consequently taking care of a crumbling, decrepit and failing plot of land led her to take the extreme step. Living in a home with no light, no water and more bats than people is bound to have a stark effect.

malcha mahal haunted story

Today, the entrance is apparently guarded by a couple of dogs, a revolver given to the 2 remaining reclusive royals by the Lt. Governor of Delhi and a sign drowned in shrubbery that reads –

ENTRY RESTRICTED

CAUTIOUS OF HOUND DOGS

PROCLAMATION

INTRUDERS SHALL BE GUNNED DOWN

While it is believed that the woman who lived here was a Queen, a recent report by the  New York Times  stated that she might be suffering from some mental disorder.

malcha mahal haunted story

With the revelation that this wasn’t a royal family, the fact that this place is haunted also comes under doubt. Although the occupants of the house died under mysterious circumstances.

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Malcha mahal, new delhi-the story behind india’s most haunted mahal. [updated 2020.

malcha mahal

We won’t forget the setup Ram Gopal Verma had created for “ Darna Mana Hai “. The dark forest and people go missing. Now, what if we say we have a similar place in Delhi,  Malcha Mahal, which is one of the   Most Haunted Places In Delhi .

Curious, are you? And to add to its spookiness is a Mahal, which was a hunting lodge in the days of Kings and Emperors. A perfect set for mishappenings?

Table of Contents

Location of Malcha Mahal in Delhi: 

Malcha Mahal Forest

Malcha Mahal  is situated next to Delhi Earth Station on the Bistdari Road in Delhi Ridge. It is the restricted part of the forest behind the Buddha Jyanti Park (Buddha Garden).  Malcha Mahal  is also known as  Bistdari Mahal

Many people have come out of the forest, scared or have not come out at all. Yes, you heard that right. There have been many journalists who went missing.

The Malcha Mahal Mystery

malcha mahal forest

Malcha Mahal was occupied by 2 members of a royal family of Oudh, Prince Riaz, and Princess Sakina, children of Princess Wilayat Mahal, the Begum of Oudh.

Princess Wilayat Mahal was the granddaughter of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Oudh. When Nawab Wajid Ali deposed and his property was seized by Britishers, Begum started to fight with the Indian Government for their property to have that back which is currently shaped into a pharma research center.

She along with her two children and a dog confined herself to the VIP lounge of Railway Station in Delhi for 9 years.. That’s when the Government decided to give them the Malcha Mahal back. But sadly, by that time the Malcha Mahal didn’t provide all the luxuries that it used to. This was surely not less than a ghostly place for a human being full of lizards, snakes, and other insects.

Who possibly can live without water, electricity, and bats all around? The family had also cut themselves off from the outer world. This type of living condition would have an adverse effect on anyone.

Malcha Mahal Begum

The children couldn’t bury her body and lived with her for 10 days. People had a belief that the Mahal had hidden treasures and hence, attacked it and even dug the Begum’s grave. Her children then burned their mother’s body.

Current Situation of Malcha Mahal

Apparently, the entrance is guarded by two dogs and a revolver which was permitted to the remaining royals.

Prince Riaz has been given a firearm and its permit to shoot in self-assurance by the Lt. Legislative leader of Delhi, since 1990, after they were assaulted. Because of fear and torment, the royal siblings haven’t talked with anyone from the outside for years.

malcha mahal guard dog

Malcha Mahal is known as undoubtedly a mysterious and one of the   Most Haunted Places In India , But the truth is that what happened to them is the real terror and not the place.

[2017 march] Latest Update : A few people have seen Prince now and again, riding a cycle to get meat for their puppies. The cycle was in absolutely terrible condition.

A few watchmen of the earth station have guaranteed that they have not seen Sakina for years and questions on the off chance that she has apparently died.

Latest Update as of December 2017 : 

The prince has died. 🙁 That’s the end to the legacy of the royal family.

malcha mahal haunted story

Been to Malcha Mahal before? Let us know your experience in comments below! 

RELATED ARTICLES MORE FROM AUTHOR

23 comments.

This is so scary!!! Thanks for sharing

It appears that Prince Riaz or Ali Raza was only waiting for this blog to be published. He died four days later on 2nd November, 2017.

true..he did die recently.. sad for that.

These are some scary stories. They make the place even more thrilling. I would like to take a look at it still though

I am a delhiite but i wasn’t aware of the many things you have told about Malcha Mahal. Thanks for a provocative post and i think injustice has been meated out to many royal families. However, everyone has his/her way to avenging their pride.

that’s true.. The prince is said to be dead recently.

This is so incredibly cool! I love scary stories like this, and I never had any idea that this spot even existed. Great post!

Thank you.. 🙂 you can also read my other haunted articles of India and delhi.

Really nice article …so many years in delhi but still didn’t knew about it….job nice done PANDA

Hey Karan, Thank you.. 🙂 you can also read my other haunted articles of India and delhi.

Few days ago i visited there with my two friends… There were so many monkeys… And place is scary as hell….. There was a lots of foreign material in the form of garbage… Like refrigerator of 1984 etc and shoes …. And chair table of 18 19s…. Seriously there was some negative energy too and errie sound from forest was adding more adventure…. Before entering into the mahal we didn’t know that this place is restricted…. When we were coming back one of workers of ISRO told us that we were lucky cuz we didn’t caught up by police and he told us just before 4 days ago police arrested some people just cuz they visited there

i have my you tube channel I’m planning to go and make a video of this place

I totally agreed with you its really haunted I felt some strange feelings as I entered the place .I went with my friend in the evening today and there was no other people there and it spooked the hell outta me

such a haunted place

[…] Malcha Mahal is quite famous among the Delhi folk for being a mysterious place. Many people consider it to be […]

Not a comment but a question – what does Malcha mean & from which Indian language is it derived?

Its was the name of Jat village there which was removed to construct Delhi.

Thank you for the story of Malcha Mahal. Very well written and explained.

Very interesting place but very tragic story feeling sorry for the family

visited the place. found nothing except hundreds of bats hanging and odor smell of shit.

Was the govt inhuman to force the family to live in a run down building.

This is such a fascinating place and the story of the family who lived here is wonderful. It is made even more romantic by the discovery that they were in fact imposters who successfully convinced many people of their royal story after living for 9 years in a railway waiting room. This link gives the most up to date information on their story…

Feel really sad and sorry for the family. Real tragic end. Pray they rest in peace. I think the place must be investigated thoroughly. Where is Sakina buried. Surely someone would know. Their life was hard and terrible. There are some cruel articles written about them without knowing complete truth. I hope they found peace in death.

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Hunting Or A Haunted Lodge? Delving Into The Mysterious Past Of Malcha Mahal

Malcha mahal and its former inhabitants were shrouded in an eerie mystery that may send chills down your spine..

By Priyaja Bakshi Published on Aug 13, 2023, 12:00 PM

Hunting Or A Haunted Lodge? Delving Into The Mysterious Past Of Malcha Mahal

If unsolved mysteries and rumours of the haunting pique your interest, then you know that several monuments in India are etched with unexplainable stories that have now become a part of their charm and attraction. Delhi’s Malcha Mahal is one such monument, teasing people with the tales of its peculiar inhabitants.

The country’s capital is home to many haunted places , which has also led the Delhi Tourism Board to launch ‘Haunted Heritage Walks’ in the city, and one of the destinations on the list is the ruins of Malcha Mahal. But what makes it stand apart? It is steeped in history and enigma, taking people back to the struggles of partition and the bygone days of Indian royalty.

The centuries-old Malcha Mahal was the residence of the descendants of the royal family of Awadh till 2017. Following the death of the ‘last descendent of the Nawab of Awadh’, its doors have opened to all. Yet, the eerie and dilapidated structure is not for the faint of heart.

History of Malcha Mahal

Malcha Mahal

Malcha Mahal is not a palace as its name suggests. It is a medieval hunting lodge or a shikargarh tucked away in the Delhi Ridge Forest, about 2 km away from one of the poshest areas of the capital — Malcha Marg in Chanakyapuri, where diplomats and businessmen reside. Also known as Wilayat Mahal, the structure, which now lies next to ISRO’s Delhi Earth Station, was built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1325, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate at the time.

The hunting lodge was abandoned for centuries until the arrival of one “royal” family. The story goes, a woman claiming herself as “Begum Wilayat of Awadh” came to Delhi in the 1970s and refused to leave the New Delhi Railway Station until the Indian government didn’t give back the alleged properties of the royal family that were annexed by the British. For 10 years, Wilayat resided in the station’s VIP room with her daughter Princess Sakina and her son Prince Ali Raza (also known as Cyrus) and a retinue of servants, Great Danes and precious belongings. Her protest gained traction in international news, resulting in the government giving her Malcha Mahal as their abode in 1984.

But the mystery lies not in the Mahal’s history but rather in its inhabitants, who claimed to be the last in the Shiite Muslim royal line.

Story of the mysterious inhabitants of Malcha Mahal

With jarring signage at the entrance that reads — “Entry restricted, cautious of hound dogs. Proclamation – intruders all be gunned down” — the aloof family kept restricted contact with the world and imprisoned themselves in the broken walls of the so-called ‘Mahal’.

Only open to sharing their story with international media, reports state they snubbed the idea of ordinary, yet their living conditions were shockingly far from extraordinary. No electricity, no water, no proper doors or windows — the deteriorating lodge was not a place built for common people, let alone royalty.

In 1993, the word came out that Begum Wilayat committed suicide as a gesture of protest against Britain and India’s unjust treatment of her ancestral property. Her children disclosed that she crushed diamonds and pearls in poison and drank it, but her body was never found.

Malcha Mahal

The siblings lived in abject poverty and delusion. Even after their mother’s death, they would set the table for her every day, leaving many puzzled about what goes on inside the broken arches of the lodge.

Eventually, Princess Sakina passed away as well, under mysterious circumstances, leaving Prince Cyrus alone in a life of penury. Despite all of it, he held himself in high regard, shunning away help. He came to be known as the Jungle Prince of Delhi, occasionally spotted in the overgrown forest surrounding Malcha Mahal. His health gave way, and he passed in 2017; his body was discovered by the locals.

After his death, it was revealed that the family was never a part of the lineage of the Awadh royal family; instead, they were ordinary citizens displaced and disturbed by the partition of India and had no place to call home. An expose by The New York Times shared that Prince Cyrus was actually Mickey Butt and the Begum was an ordinary woman, Wilayat Butt from Lucknow, and Princess Sakina was Farhad.

While Prince Cyrus was buried in an unmarked grave, the so-called Begum and Princess’s remains are somewhere lost in Malcha Mahal and according to local lore maybe even their spirits reside there, looking for closure. The mystery still remains — why did this family claim to be royalty and lived in such desperate conditions?

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Is malcha mahal haunted.

While Delhi Tourism’s website ponders on the haunted status of the monument, describing it as a “hunting or haunted lodge?”, spooky experiences haven’t been written or recorded. The ruined condition of the Malcha Mahal and the missing remains of the ‘Begum’ and the ‘Princess,’ however, leave room for imagination.

How to explore Malcha Mahal?

Malcha Mahal

Delhi Tourism Board launched one of the first Heritage Haunted Walks to Malcha Mahal in May 2023. The guided tours are organised either on Saturday or Sunday every week depending on the registrations. These tours start at 5:30 pm and last till 7 pm. The price for the tour is INR 800 per person, and children below 15 years of age are not allowed. You can book the walk on the official website .

How to reach Malcha Mahal?

By air : Indira Gandhi International Airport is the main airport in the capital, around 15 km away. By rail : New Delhi railway station is the closest railway station, around 10 km away.

Shop the best travel experiences here

Hero and feature image credit:@10.dushyantsingh/Instagram 

Related: The Most Haunted Places In Kolkata And The Story Behind Them

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– What is the history of Malcha Mahal? It was built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1325 and eventually became the residence of Begum Wilayat in 1984.

– Can I visit Malcha Mahal? Yes, you can visit Malcha Maha. Delhi Tourism has organised walking tours to the mahal for those interested in exploring the mysteries of the ruins.

– Why is Malcha Mahal famous? The apparent descendants of the royal family of Awadh resided here till 2017.

– Can I learn more about Malcha Mahal’s history and the royal family? Yes, you can learn more about Malcha Mahal’s history and the royal family through one of the Heritage Haunted Walks organised by the Delhi Tourism Board.

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Priyaja Bakshi

Priyaja Bakshi

Priyaja took her love for reading to the next level by majoring in English and minoring in Journalism at Lady Shri Ram College For Women (DU). She is extremely curious about the world and wishes to visit all the countries once in her life. She identifies as a foodie and loves to spend her free time exploring different cuisine and curating new dishes. .. Read More As a former Food Writer at NDTV, she can help you find the best places to eat in Delhi! Read Less

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Malcha Mahal: Discovering Delhi’s haunted past

Times of India TIMESOFINDIA.COM / Updated : Aug 6, 2023, 10:27 IST

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Malcha Mahal is a 14th-century hunting lodge which is in ruins today. The place is infamous for its ghostly pasts and negativity surrounding it. Shrouded in mystery, the place is infamous for being one of the most haunted places i … Read more

Malcha Mahal is a 14th-century hunting lodge which is in ruins today. The place is infamous for its ghostly pasts and negativity surrounding it. Shrouded in mystery, the place is infamous for being one of the most haunted places in Delhi. Read less

Malcha Mahal: Discovering Delhi’s haunted past

History of Malcha Mahal

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Malcha Mahal: Discovering Delhi’s haunted past

Malcha Mahal is a 14th-century hunting lodge which is in ruins today. The place is infamous for its ghostly pasts and negativity surrounding it. Shrouded in mystery, the place is infamous for being on...

malcha mahal haunted story

malcha mahal haunted story

Exploring The Haunted Malcha Mahal

Photo of Ishvani Hans

For the longest time, I had been obsessed with all things horror. Back in 2015, when I read about Malcha Mahal (scroll down to read the back story), it instantly piqued my curiosity. So I gave into the whims of my giddy teenaged mind and set out to explore the so-called haunted Malcha Mahal.

The Haunted Malcha Mahal In The Heart Of Delhi

Haunted or not, the road that led to Malcha Mahal was definitely eerie, with no trace of any human other than my friends and I.

Photo of Exploring The Haunted Malcha Mahal 1/1 by Ishvani Hans

As we sauntered down the road, we found ourselves walking under a thick canopy of branches that looked like long, tenacious fingers. Soon, we reached our destination and were greeted by a rusty sign board with a grim warning for trespassers which read,

"ENTRY RESTRICTED

CAUTIOUS OF HOUND DOGS

PROCLAMATION: INTRUDERS SHALL BE GUNDOWN"

Maybe it was the dreadful warning, the spine-chilling atmosphere or simply the fact that it was getting dark, but none of us dared to stay there any longer let alone enter the gate.

What's the story behind Malcha Mahal?

Sometime in the 70's, Princess Wilayat Mahal, great-granddaughter of the last Nawab of Awadh came to Delhi with her two children, fifteen ferocious dogs and seven servants. They lived in New Delhi Railway Station's first class waiting room for about eight years, after which the government offered them the Malcha Mahal, an erstwhile hunting lodge with no doors and electricity which they proposed to refurbish.

The renovation never happened, the family didn't mingle with outsiders and called ordinariness a sin. As years went by, Princess Wilayat Mahal grew despondent and finally succumbed to depression and took her own life by swallowing crushed diamonds in the year 1993. Her children, Princess Sakina and Prince Ali Raza continued to live in isolation with their dogs and servants. Gradually, with passage of time, the number of dogs and servants diminished.

Sometime around the year 2014, Princess Sakina passed away and later in November 2017, Prince Ali Raza was found dead with his belongings ransacked.

So, what is so haunted about Malcha Mahal?

Murders, suicides, imagination; this is the recipe for concocting a haunted story. Debating about the existence of ghosts and spirits is almost pointless because believers will reply with an affirmative while the skeptics would shake their heads in disbelief. But the story of Malcha Mahal is a unique one which brings the cynics and the believers together.

The story of Malcha Mahal and its now deceased residents might not be a jumpscare, in-your-face horror story, but certainly an intriguing tale that creeps up on you and makes you think about their strange way of living.

How did they live without any electricity? Where did they get their food from? What did they do to pass their time? What was the reason behind the death of the Princess' children? How did they take a bath? How did they pay their servants?

These are some of the many questions I keep asking myself.

Malcha Mahal

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The haunting Malcha Mahal: Explore Delhi's enigmatic ruins

The enigmatic malcha mahal, with its tragic past and haunting tales continues to intrigue visitors. doesn't matter whether the rumours are true or not. the mahal's history and mystique add a unique dimension to its allure..

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By Sanhita Baruah   Aug 13, 2023 9:32:38 AM IST (Published)

The haunting Malcha Mahal: Explore Delhi's enigmatic ruins

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Malcha Mahal, Jamali Kamali and more: The truth about 5 haunted places in Delhi

Djinns at the feroz shah kotla fort, a lady in white at dwarka’s sector 9 metro station and malcha mahal- the paranormal society of india tells us whether these places are haunted or not..

Djinns, house spirits, the woman in white and a British officer from the 18th century- these are just some of the ghosts that are associated with Delhi’s most haunted places . But how much of this is true and are there actually places in the nation’s capital where you can feel supernatural forces?

Malcha Mahal, which dates back to the 14th century, is supposedly haunted.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

We spoke to members of the Paranormal Society of India (PSI), who reveal the truth about these ‘haunted sites.’

Dwarka Sector 9 Metro Station

Just outside the metro station entrance, people have said they have seen a woman appearing and disappearing out of nowhere.

“People say that in Dwarka Sector 9 a woman in a white sari would sit on a tree and run after cars at night. We’ve gone there on multiple occasions, and no chudail or daayan has ever chased us away,” says Govind Kumar, the founder and chairman of the Paranormal Society of India.

However, Govind did say, “When we were exploring the area there we got a feeling that there is someone who is walking with us.”

Feroz Shah Kotla Fort

A view of the Feroz Shah Kotla fort. (Burhaan Kinu/HTPhoto)

A fort dating back to the Tughlaq era in the 14th century, according to legend Laat (pillar) Waale Baba, considered as the head of the Kotla djinns, stays in the Minar-e-Zarreen in the fort.

“I have visited most of the so-called haunted places in Delhi, but never encountered an unnatural experience. I like to believe as historian and author William Dalrymple wrote that Delhi is the City of Djinns. It is a mystical place inundated with so many shrines. The place in Delhi that stands closest to the title is Feroze Shah Kotla,” says A. Sarwar Borah, who runs the blog Delhi Explore.

“An otherwise medieval-era ruin, it wears a different look on Thursday evening with visitors sticking letters written in Urdu on the wall. The letters are addressed to djinns. According to popular belief djinns come and read the letters and help in fulfilling the dreams, desires and wishes of people. Many also light diyas. Some also leave milk in earthen pots for the djinns to drink,” says Borah.

The Malcha Mahal, another supposedly haunted spot, was out of bounds for visitors which was protected by barbed wires all around and 12 big dogs. After years the household helps left and the dogs died, leaving the once popular residence a mere shadow of its old self. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

Jamali Kamali

Located within the Mehrauli Archaeological Park are the tombs of the 16th century Sufi saints Jamali and Kamali. A favourite haunt (no pun intended) for history enthusiasts, it is said that voices from the mazaar inside the central dome call out to those who visit the tomb.

“When we visited Jamali Kamali our instruments picked up certain vibrations there,” says Govind.

The PSI uses various equipments which pick up certain energies or vibrations from the sites that they visit. The equipments they have include the K2 EMF Meter, laser grid and night vision camera.

Situated in the heart of Delhi and stretching across 10 km, Sanjay Van is the burial place for various Sufi saints who go for their morning and evening walks there. Personally, however, what you should be more scared about are the anti social elements that are regulars there.

“We have also been to Sanjay Van and felt certain energies there. However, we don’t classify them as ghosts, only positive or negative energies. If there are negative energies in a place that is because the area has not been properly maintained, if that is taken care of then things improve,” explains Govind.

Malcha Mahal

The bed of Malcha Mahal’s last royal occupant, Prince Ali Raza (Cyrus). (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

Malcha Mahal, also known as Wilayat Mahal , is a hunting lodge from the Tughlaq era situated in Chanakyapuri in Delhi. It was built by Firuz Shah Tughlaq in 1325, and was also known as Wilayat Mahal after Begum Wilayat Mahal of Awadh who was given the place by the Government of India in May 1985. On September 10, 1993, she killed herself by Begum committed suicide at the age of 62 by eating crushed diamonds. Those visiting the site claim that they feel some energy which hits them whenever they go to there.

Prince Ali Raza (second from right), with bis sister Sakina (second from right) and his mother Begum Wilayat Mahal at New Delhi Railway Stations waiting room on March 20, 1975. The Malcha Mahal did not have basic amenities like water and electricity, which the family enjoyed at the waiting room. (N Thyagarajan/HTArchives)

“It is people who give names like ‘bhoot’ or ‘pret. ’ These are only stories which have been made up,” says Govind.

Apart from these, other places in Delhi about which you shall keep hearing ghost tales are Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal, Khooni Darwaza and Chor Minar. Of course, the members of the PSI maintain that there is no ‘woman in white’ or a British officer from the 1800s who keeps roaming around in these places.

But if you disagree with them and have had experiences of the paranormal kind, do comment and let us know about them, along with other supposedly ‘haunted’ places in Delhi!

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

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Kabir Singh Bhandari is a journalist and stand up comedian. He has 10 years experience in journalism and has worked in India, Bangladesh and Thailand. ...view detail

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malcha mahal haunted story

Swapnil Narendra

malcha mahal haunted story

Malcha Mahal: Hauntings at the Hunting Lodge

Considered to be one of the most haunted places in the national capital, Delhi's ruined Malcha Mahal sits just behind the Rashtrapati Bhawan, surrounded by a thick growth of cacti, keekar and other sharp-edged plants. However, is this Tughlaq-era hunting lodge really haunted by the spirits of a Begum and her two children? Or is there more to Malcha Mahal's story than what meets the eye?

Malcha Mahal. Illustrated by Dishani Goswami: Visual Storyteller at ThisDay

Malcha Mahal. Illustrated by Dishani Goswami: Visual Storyteller at ThisDay

The story goes that on one of his shikar trips, Firoz Shah Tughlaq, the third emperor of the Tughlaq dynasty, lost his way and was taken care of by a gypsy girl. It was in gratitude to her that Tughlaq is said to have built Malcha Mahal in the midst of a jungle. Since then, this forgotten shikargah remained abandoned until the year 1985, when it was allotted to a royal family by Indira Gandhi.

In the 1970s, Begum Wilayat Mahal, the self-proclaimed great-granddaughter of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow, appeared out of nowhere and captured the VIP waiting room at the New Delhi Railway Station. She demanded that the government should give her back the property that belonged to her ancestors. After nine years of living in that waiting room, begum sahiba was granted Malcha Mahal as a place for residence, to where she shifted with their two kids, Princess Sakina and Prince Cyrus. And since then, Malcha Mahal has become a place of curiosity.

The royal family lived like hermits. They didn't come out, and never let anyone meet them. The curiosity simmered down and people gradually forgot about them. It was only decades later, when people spotted the now old and frail Prince Cyrus going out on a bicycle, that curiosity took the better of them again. But this time, it was for the welfare of this old man who called himself the last prince of Awadh. Days later, Prince Cyrus was found dead inside Malcha Mahal. Cause of death: dengue fever.

And since then, Malcha Mahal is said to be haunted by the ghosts of these three royal family members. Vloggers and adrenaline junkies now visit this place hoping to encounter these vengeful spirits, only to return empty-handed.

Turns out that Begum Wilayat Mahal was an impostor. She was an ordinary woman named Wilayat Butt married to a registrar in Lucknow who moved to Pakistan in 1947. But after her husband died under mysterious circumstances, Wilayat Mahal donned the character of Wajid Ali Shah’s great-granddaughter and smuggled herself along with her two children to New Delhi Railway Station. Their personas and conviction made everyone believe, even Indira Gandhi, that they were indeed royals.

And so they lived in Malcha Mahal until they died there one after the other. Begum Wilayat allegedly took her own life by drinking a mix of crushed diamonds. Her daughter Sakina disappeared without a trace. Later, Cyrus confessed that she had died and he himself had buried her. How did she die, where was she buried? We don’t know. And in 2017, Cyrus died of dengue. He was found dead on the cold rocky floor of his ‘palace’. They were no royals and they had no money.

The only source of legitimate income they had was from Wilayat’s elder son Shahid, who had run away at a young age and settled in England. Shahid would send small amounts of money to them often. Besides that, Cyrus had learned the art of taking foreign journalists for a ride, stringing them along using his enchanting story. He would then take money from them for every interview, and then drop them when his needs were met. This is how they lived, and now we know how they died.

But Malcha Mahal still stands abandoned as it was before. Perhaps I would gather enough courage to visit that place someday.

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The Haunted Mystery of Malcha Mahal: Tales of Delhi’s Ghostly Palace

Nilesh

Table of Contents

Malcha Mahal Haunted Story

The History

Once the residence of the royal family of Oudh, Malcha Mahal fell into disrepair after their downfall. Left to decay over time, the palace now stands as a haunting reminder of its regal past. The dark corridors and crumbling walls bear witness to the passage of time and the lingering spirits said to reside within.

According to local folklore, the ghost of Princess Wilayat Mahal, the last surviving member of the royal family, is said to haunt Malcha Mahal. Her spirit is believed to be trapped within the palace, forever bound to its halls and rooms. Legends whisper that the princess lived a secluded life, and after her death, her restless spirit remained, wandering the abandoned corridors.

Eerie Encounters

Visitors and locals who have dared to venture near Malcha Mahal have reported spine-chilling experiences. Strange sounds echo through the air – disembodied voices, cries, and eerie laughter that seem to emanate from the shadows. Some claim to have witnessed shadowy figures moving through the darkened hallways, while others have observed mysterious lights and flickering candles, despite the building’s derelict state.

Exploring the Unknown

The haunted reputation of Malcha Mahal has drawn thrill-seekers, paranormal enthusiasts, and curious souls throughout the years. However, it is important to note that the palace is situated in a protected forest area known as the Delhi Ridge, and trespassing is strictly prohibited. Visitors are urged to respect the privacy and historical significance of the site, while refraining from accessing the restricted premises.

Separating Fact from Fiction

While the ghostly tales and legends surrounding Malcha Mahal continue to capture the imagination, it is crucial to remember that these accounts are rooted in folklore and urban legends. Whether there is any truth to the hauntings or if they are mere figments of imagination remains a mystery that adds to the allure of this hauntingly beautiful palace.

As we conclude our journey through the haunted halls of Malcha Mahal , we invite you to ponder the mysteries that shroud this forgotten palace. The stories of Princess Wilayat Mahal and the restless spirits that allegedly reside within its decaying walls continue to intrigue and captivate. Whether you choose to believe in the supernatural or not, there’s no denying the allure and haunting beauty of Malcha Mahal, a place where history and legends intertwine in the shadows of Delhi’s past.

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14th Century hunting lodge, an air of mystery: Peek into Delhi’s first ‘haunted’ walk at Malcha Mahal

Other places that the department plans to cover under its haunted walks initiative are Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal, Ferozshah Kotla and Tughalaqabad fort.

malcha mahal haunted story

With a history spanning a thousand years and more, Delhi has its fair share of monuments from different periods. While a few of them draw people to the city in droves every year, there are many that are alien to even the residents of the capital. With the intention to bring such monuments to the forefront, and to make the most of the mystery surrounding them, the Delhi government’s Tourism Department kicked off its series of Haunted Walks Saturday.

The first spot to be covered as part of the initiative was Malcha Mahal, the Tughlaq-era hunting lodge, situated deep inside the Central ridge, that was home to a mysterious family claiming to be descendants of the Nawab of Awadh not long ago.

malcha mahal haunted story

The Mahal comes into view after a km-long walk through the foliage replete with monkeys, an occasional jackal and other animals.

As the group reached the Mahal, walk leader Nishtha narrated the story of the most recent inhabitants of the historical structure. Says Nishtha: “I have been leading heritage walks for half a decade now but this walk is different. I also had to make a special effort to make it engaging with my storytelling style.” For the heritage enthusiasts, the walk was a one-of-its kind opportunity to explore a place that they had barely heard of. Said Fazil Khan (32), a photographer, “I had only heard of Malcha Marg but not about the place that the thoroughfare got its name from. It was a unique experience. Although I don’t believe in supernatural powers, the mystery surrounding this place is enough for me to visit again.”

His views were echoed by his friend Shobhit, an IT professional. “I am fond of architecture and love to photograph monuments, something that Malcha Mahal has ample scope for. Besides, I really enjoyed the story behind this ‘palace’, which is yet to make a splash on social media.”

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For Karishma Malhan (28), a CA, it was the storytelling that was the highlight of the walk.

While none of participants felt anything “haunted” about the walk, they agreed that there was a mystical air to the place that lends it a different aura than other oft-frequented monuments.

Elucidating on the usage of the word “haunted” for the walk, Atul Pandey, Tourist information officer, DTTDC, said, “We tend to associate the word haunted with places that have been left abandoned for years, and this place was once a hunting lodge. Hence, we came up with the tagline – ‘A hunting or a haunted lodge?’”

On the idea behind starting the walks, Pandey said, “We want people to know that there is more to Delhi than just the few world heritage structures that tourists can explore in a day before moving to Agra or Jaipur for longer trips. We want them to consider Delhi also as a place where they can explore. This will help in promoting tourism and generating employment in the capital.” Opened on the first day for journalists and a select group of common people, the walk will be open to all starting Sunday. While slots for Sunday are already booked, reservations for subsequent walks can be made through Delhi tourism department website: delhitourism.gov.in or the dekhomeridilli mobile app. The walks will be held every weekend but people in groups can book weekday slots as well, said officials.

“But Malcha Mahal remains on top in terms of the number of enquiries made for the spot in the last few days,” said an official.

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Malcha mahal and the house of oudh: delhi’s most haunted.

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  2. Malcha Mahal, The Mystery behind India's Most Haunted Mahal Revealed!

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    The dark forest and people go missing. Now, what if we say we have a similar place in Delhi, Malcha Mahal, which is one of the Most Haunted Places In Delhi. Curious, are you? And to add to its spookiness is a Mahal, which was a hunting lodge in the days of Kings and Emperors. A perfect set for mishappenings? Table of Contents

  3. What is Malcha Mahal, the place where Delhi's first 'haunted walk

    delhi Latest Comment Locals believe that spirit of Begum Wilayat Mahal, who died by suicide after allegedly swallowing crushed diamonds in her possession three decades ago still lives in the ruins, making the place a perfect for the first trip of the series of 'haunted walks'.

  4. Is Delhi's Malcha Mahal haunted? Let's take a walk inside the 700-year

    Tiasa Bhowal New Delhi, UPDATED: May 25, 2023 13:49 IST Is Malcha Mahal, located in the heart of Delhi, haunted? This was the exact question on my mind when I signed up for Delhi Tourism's newly launched 'haunted' heritage walk in the 700-year-old hunting lodge.

  5. Is Malcha Mahal Really Haunted?

    13 Aug 2023 12:00 PM If unsolved mysteries and rumours of the haunting pique your interest, then you know that several monuments in India are etched with unexplainable stories that have now become a part of their charm and attraction. Delhi's Malcha Mahal is one such monument, teasing people with the tales of its peculiar inhabitants.

  6. Malcha Mahal: Discovering Delhi's haunted past

    Paranormal hub The reputation of Machla Mahal as one of the most haunted places in Delhi attracts a number of paranormal enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. Several visitors come here in the hopes of an eerie encounter, laced with modern cameras and voice recorders. Some also carry ghost-hunting equipment.

  7. The Curse Of Malcha Mahal

    By Ishvani Hans For the longest time, I had been obsessed with all things horror. Back in 2015, when I read about Malcha Mahal (scroll down to read the back story), it instantly piqued my curiosity. So I gave into the whims of my giddy teenaged mind and set out to explore the so-called haunted Malcha Mahal.

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    In the heart of Delhi's bustling cityscape lies a forgotten relic of the past that exudes an eerie and otherworldly aura - the enigmatic Malcha Mahal. Commissioned by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in the 14th century as a hunting lodge, this historic site holds within its crumbling walls a haunting tale of tragedy and seclusion. Located in Malcha, an ancient settlement on Raisina Hill, Malcha Mahal ...

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    The Malcha Mahal, another supposedly haunted spot, was out of bounds for visitors which was protected by barbed wires all around and 12 big dogs. After years the household helps left and the...

  13. Haunted: Malcha Mahal

    Malcha Mahal is infamously known as one of the most haunted places in Delhi. Reading about this place is like reading a script for a horror movie - it is located in the depths of a forest near Bistdari road, people hear and see strange occurrences, and access is restricted due to the countless people who have gone missing over the years.

  14. Malcha Mahal: Hauntings at the Hunting Lodge

    Considered to be one of the most haunted places in the national capital, Delhi's ruined Malcha Mahal sits just behind the Rashtrapati Bhawan, surrounded by a thick growth of cacti, keekar and other sharp-edged plants. However, is this Tughlaq-era hunting lodge really haunted by the spirits of a Begum and her two children? Or is there more to Malcha Mahal's story than what meets the eye?

  15. Haunted Place in Delhi: All About Historic Building Malcha Mahal

    Haunted Place in Delhi: All About Malcha Mahal, a Historic Building That is as Spooky as Possible The Malcha Mahal is one of Delhi's historical landmarks. Several people have claimed to...

  16. The Haunted Mystery of Malcha Mahal: Tales of Delhi's Ghostly Palace

    The Haunted Mystery of Malcha Mahal: Tales of Delhi's Ghostly Palace Written by Nilesh Posted on 28 May 2023 4 min read Table of Contents The History The Legend Eerie Encounters Exploring the Unknown Separating Fact from Fiction Conclusion

  17. The story of Malcha Mahal

    The 650-year-old shikargah (hunting lodge) of Firozshah Tughlak became their home. The story goes that on one of his shikar trips the emperor lost his way and was taken care of by a gypsy girl....

  18. Story Of Delhi's 'Haunted' Malcha Mahal, Now Open For Heritage Walks

    Sneha Swaminathan 'Haunted' Walks Launch Delhi Tourism Department introduces 'haunted walks,' starting at Malcha Mahal, a Tughlaq-era hunting lodge in Chanakyapuri, 1.5 km from the main road. Mysterious History

  19. Revisiting Malcha Mahal, Delhi

    Malcha Mahal might be a popular haunted site in Delhi, but its tragic history is intertwined with partition. ... The lodge, what is now known as Malcha Mahal, was in ruins before the rumours and ghost stories around the family were even born. As a self-proclaimed queen, this hurt her pride. Despite this, fine furnishing and porcelain were ...

  20. 14th Century hunting lodge, an air of mystery: Peek into Delhi's first

    14th Century hunting lodge, an air of mystery: Peek into Delhi's first 'haunted' walk at Malcha Mahal Other places that the department plans to cover under its haunted walks initiative are Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal, Ferozshah Kotla and Tughalaqabad fort. ... Besides, I really enjoyed the story behind this 'palace', which is yet to make ...

  21. Malcha Mahal and The House of Oudh: Delhi's Most Haunted?

    The last of the surviving children, Ali Raza passed away in November 2017, following which the monument quickly gained the reputation for being "haunted". The road leading up to Malcha Mahal comes to a dead-end at the ISRO earth station. In 2020, a Delhi Police barricade and a few meters of barbed wire stand in the way of people wanting to ...

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