Photo Essay – The Night of the Lights, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah
Colors of Sufism. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Orange, purple and green. These were the colors of that magical night. The Delhi Walla was in the Dargah of Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. The shrine’s courtyard is always empty at this late hour. But this night it was filled with a great crowd. There were qawwal singers performing their famous qawwalis. The entire shrine was decked up like a Christmas tree. The dome at Hazrat Nizamuddin’s tomb glowed orange. The central dome of the adjacent Jamaatkhana mosque was lit up in purple. Its two side domes were bathed in green. “The lighting has been organised by an industrialist family,” said one of the shrine’s caretakers. “They are celebrating a birthday in their family.” The tomb of poet Amir Khusro, at one end of the courtyard, was decorated less elaborately. It simply got an array of plain electric lamps. The corner around the tomb of Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah Rangila was taken over by dozens of cauldrons filled with steaming-hot chicken biryani. The cauldrons were covered with green clothes. The courtyard itself received a makeshift roof of lamps. They looked like stars of a clear high-attitude mountain sky. The morning after, the shrine lost all its electric colors. It then looked more beautiful. It’s a dream 1.