Secret tunnel discovered in Delhi – scary speculation abounds

BACKtunnelA hidden tunnel was discovered recently in Delhi that runs beneath the building that in colonial time housed the Indian parliament.

The building dates back to 1911 when the British moved the Indian capital from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi, and is a splendid example of the exquisite architecture of the period.

A trip through the grand arched doorway leads to corridors flush with hardwood panelling in true classic Edwardian expression of imperial majesty. In fact the tunnel is beneath the floor of the parliamentary chamber that is now the home of Delhi’s local government.

Of course the entrance is hidden behind a flap of green carpet, that when lifted leads to a hatch beyond which lies a shallow chamber that leads to another smaller passage that goes way under the chamber floor.

The discoverer, speaker of the assembly Ram Niwas Goel said he had heard rumours of its existence from the staff, and he believes it served a ghoulish purpose when in 1926 parliament was moved, and the building then became a courtroom. He says the tunnel was used to transfer prisoners from the Red Fort where the British held political prisoners whom they brought through the tunnel into the courtroom.

Goel wants the tunnel to be preserved as a reminder of the oppression Indian freedom fighters underwent under the British. Historian William Dalrymple says Delhi is full of legends of underground passages.

Other speculations abound, but as is life, some historical mysteries are never solved.