800 years old Secret Tunnel Found at Nizamuddin dargah

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Aga Khan Trust for Culture find's Nizamuddin's Secret Tunnel

Secret tunnel has been found at Nizamuddin

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered a secret tunnel at Nizamuddin dargah. This secret passage links the Nizamuddin dargah with a baoli or water tank, situated within the complex. What's unique about the baoli is that it contains a well that has a wooden base and is still in excellent shape even after 800 years. The chief priest of Nizamuddin Dargah, Pir Khawaja Ahmed Nizami, who is a direct descendant of Hazrat Nizamuddin, has said that they were aware of the existence of a secret passage in the baoli, but no one knew of its actual location.

The local folklore often talked about an underground passage that linked the 800 year old Nizamuddin dargah with an equally old baoli within the complex. The water was considered holi by pilgrims to the shrine. This passage was said to be sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's personal access to the baoli. It was while working on the restoration process for this baoli by AKTC and ASI that the secret tunne was found, which was blocked and buried under rubble for centuries.

Some facts on the Secret Passage at Nizamuddin:

  • Built by Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya in 1321-22, the water in the baoli is considered holy and is visited by millions of pilgrims every year.
  • Historians said that the discovered passage from the baoli to the dargah was used by Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. He performed wazu (ablutions) here before taking the same passage back to the dargah.
  • There are 11 known baolis in Delhi. Nizamuddin baoli is the only one with active underground springs with very pure water.
  • For the first time, the baoli was cleared of all rubbish and muck to its original depth, 80 feet below ground level.
  • A dedicated laser scan of the baoli was carried out as well as a ground penetrating radar survey - both being used in India for conservation for the first time.
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