School friends are always special to us, and so it happened that we three had planned a meet-up after a long gap. I was excited to meet Ankur and Himanshu and our plan was almost on (proof being our WhatsApp group) but suddenly I had to change the outcome. I messaged in the group, "Guys, just got to know that I am selected for a competition. But the thing is, I need to be there for three days - it starts this Monday.") The best thing about friends is that they turn out to be the most supportive people on the planet, especially when we need it the most. I was tensed regarding what they would say to me for delaying the meetup, but what I received were congratulations and good-luck messages!
I left for the competition on Monday and then finally we planned to meet on Friday! This called for excitement when I took my camera bag along while leaving from home to see them. All I remember is telling Ankur to take me to the Hanuman temple, a very famous temple in Jhandewalan which is iconic to Delhi. While the three of us met, Ankur drove us to a jungle area next to the Hanuman Temple. He drove the car through the narrow lane made by cutting the trees. There was green blanket greeting us on the either side of the passage and after many bumps and genius driving, we were led to a theatre that was supposedly hundred years old. We spotted some children playing cricket, who were sweet enough to let me bowl two deliveries.
We interacted with the security guards of the cinema hall, who filled us with stories of ghosts in the forest area. The three of us kept on exchanging looks as the guards narrated more stories of murders and crimes in the same cinema hall that they were guarding. But it was not functional anymore, so why were they even there? That's because a case was pending in the court regarding the ownership of the hall and it was anticipated that the real owners would win it back from the government. Later they could freely renovate the hall or start with some other venture. As we were leaving the men asked us to find a stick from the forest area and keep it in our hands, in order to save ourselves if a snake attacked out of nowehere.
About yesterday! This place holds many stories. Stands stiff for the last 6 centuries, it's considered to be one of the most haunted places in Delhi. The Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal used to be a royal hunting lodge which was built under the reign of Feroz Shah Tuglaq. #Jhandewalan #delhi #artistaddress . . #beingdilliwaala #sodelhi #dfordelhi #NewDelhi #forest #ridge #dildilli #incredibleindia #saadidilli #dilsedilli #indianexpress #natgeo #delHigram
I clicked some pictures of the forest area and we started our drive back, playing a bollywood track "ye bandhan kyu pyaar ka bandhan hai" in the car. We stopped at one of the most haunted places known in Delhi, referred as Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal. Going by news feed on the internet I found out that it used to be a royal hunting lodge built in the 14th century. We couldn't spot anyone there other than us, until we were leaving that few boys came in with great interest. That's not a place one should plan going with one's girlfriend, you will be more scared by the silence more than the history of the place. Right next to the Mahal is a pond, which is quite a creation in between the green forest cover. An explorer's tip that I would like to share with you guys is that plan visiting Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal in the day time with your friends.
Later, we finally parked our car and visited the Hanuman Temple. I was touched by the complete marvel that the temple is, both from the inside and the outside. The pandits are so humble, that they are happy answering all your questions about the temple. While we came out of the temple, I got a chance to photograph a couple with their beautiful baby girl.
It was time for us to eat something but we settled with fruit juice near Pusa Road. Listening to more music in the car, we bade goodbyes at the Jhandewalan metro station. It was good to explore a new place and meeting my old buddies.
Dedicated to Sheetal Bhadauriya