Khooni Jheel, which means “bloody lake” in English, is a water body situated in the heart of the Kamla Nehru Ridge in North Delhi. Despite its serene appearance, the lake has a dark history and is known for its notorious reputation of being a suicide point and site of numerous drowning incidents. The lake is at least 6 meters deep and surrounded by trees, with a greenish layer on its surface. Signboards placed at the site warn visitors to keep a safe distance from the lake.
Dr. AK Singh, the scientist in charge of the Kamla Nehru Ridge, said that the lake has a layered history and was witness to events during the Revolt of 1857. The Flagstaff Tower, which was at the center of the violence during the uprising against the East India Company that year, is a 15-minute walk from the lake. The lake is now home to various species of fish and ducks, but nobody specifically cleans it. It just exists as an old wetland in the park.
Over the past two decades, several drowning incidents have been recorded at the lake, and many deaths have been reported. A former faculty member of Delhi University said that a student of the university drowned in the lake in the early 2000s.
Despite its significant role in colonial history, the lake is infamous for the tragic incidents that took place there. Historian Kavitha Sharma said that it is very hard to locate inside the park even during the day. Thomas Crowley, in his book Fractured Forest, Quartzite City, wrote about the lake’s notoriety and how it is associated with the bloody events of 1857. Some believe that Indians drowned themselves in the lake after the British suppressed the rebellion, while others think that it was slain British troops who were dumped into the pond.
Even though the Kamla Nehru Ridge is a place of shadows and sometimes morbid surprises, it remains a popular spot for those seeking drunken revelry and escape. However, it is advisable to keep a safe distance from Khooni Jheel for a better appreciation of its layered history and natural beauty.