Chooti Karbala


A 3000 square yards enclosure is situated immediately south of 'Karbala', and about 50 yards towards N.W. of the gateway of 'Dargah Shah e Mardan'. Originally the enclosure was a part of 'Karbala'. This enclosure is surrounded by a wall built by captain Mirza Ashraf Beg Khan, an employee of Mahadaji Scindia, a ruler of 'Maratha Empire', during the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. He was stationed at Delhi.

The enclosing wall is 7' 6'' high and built of lime and stones. It has two doorways one in north opens in Karbala and one in south opens on Karbala Lane.  The main gateway of this 'Chotti Karbala' was built of bricks in the south on Karbala Lana. It was also called a 'Baghichi' (small garden). Probably since then it became popular as ‘Chotti Karbala'. Maulvi Zaffar Hassan in his compilation "Monuments of Delhi ( Vol. I)" does throw a little light on it. He writes " The gateway is built of bricks and forms an entrance to an enclosed garden called 'Baghichi'. The enclosure was originally a Karbala. The gateway is now in occupation by the Khadims of Dargah Shah-e-Mardan."

After a long legal battle, efficacious protests and plentiful efforts it has been cleaned and an 'Alam'of Maula Abbas (as) has instituted in the centre of the property. After its revival regular Majalis are held on every 'Nauchandi Jumerat' (first Thursday  of every lunar month).




Monuments of Delhi, compiled by Maulvi Zaffar Hassan, Vol.1 (2008 A.D.) Originally Published in 1916 A.D.

Fall of the Mughal Empire by Jadunath Sarkar, Vol. 1 (4th Edition, 1991) Originally Published in 1932.

Aasar-us-Sanadeed by Sir Sayyed Ahmad Khan, (2014 A.D.) Originally Published in 1847 A.D.

Waaqiyaat-e-Darul Hukumat by Bashiruudin Ahmad Dehlvi, Vol. 3, Published in 1919 A.D.

Dilli ki Dargah Shah-e-Mardan by Dr. Khaliq Anjum, Published in 1988 A.D.

Archaeological survey of  India (ASI) reports.

National Archives of India, New Delhi

British Council Library, New Delhi

Encyclopaedia Britannica

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Peter J. Chelkowski on Imam Husain

Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, New York University.

       "Hussein accepted and set out from Mecca with his family and an entourage of about seventy followers.  But on the plain of Kerbela they were caught in an ambush set by the … caliph, Yazid.  Though defeat was certain, Hussein refused to pay homage to him.  Surrounded by a great enemy force, Hussein and his company existed without water for ten days in the burning desert of Kerbela.  Finally Hussein, the adults and some male children of his family and his companions were cut to bits by the arrows and swords of Yazid's army; his women and remaining children were taken as captives to Yazid in Damascus.  The renowned historian Abu Reyhan al-Biruni states; "… then fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses; nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities."

[Ta'ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran, New York, 1979, p. 2]