City Faith - Basant Panchmi, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah

City Faith – Basant Panchmi, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah

Season’s greetings. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Someone today will put on a yellow scarf. Somebody else might pick up a yellow turban, or perhaps a yellow kurta. Some other might do with a yellow rose, though yellow…

City Landmark - Bani Temple, Gurgaon

City Landmark – Bani Temple, Gurgaon

A shrine with a view. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] So surreal. These gigantic stalagmites stranded in the polluted air. They are actually far-off business towers, their view diffused in the winter fog. The scene shifts with a…

City Landmark - Hazrat Chirag Dehli Shrine in Winter,  South Delhi

City Landmark – Hazrat Chirag Dehli Shrine in Winter, South Delhi

Cold courtyard. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The air is windier than elsewhere in the city. The cold too is colder. With its vast courtyard, and its many trees, the sufi shrine of Hazrat Chirag Dehli is one…

City Faith - Chitli Qabar Dargah, Chitli Qabar Chowk

City Faith – Chitli Qabar Dargah, Chitli Qabar Chowk

Sufi shrine, now and then. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The long, curving crack on the discoloured wall evoked the course of a river. A tiny uneven gap through the same wall disconcertingly showed the flower shop on…

City Faith - Night-Long Qawwali, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's Dargah

City Faith – Night-Long Qawwali, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah

The rest is noise. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is world-famous for its qawwalis, the sufi shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. The dargah’s most special night in the year falls tonight. The qawwalis will be offered at…

City Faith - Shiv Temple, Jor Bagh

City Faith – Shiv Temple, Jor Bagh

An oasis. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Hill, trees, bushes, grass. And to top it all—a temple at the top. Being here is like a get together with solitude and peace. People travel to sacred seclusions in the…

City Monument - Jagannath Temple, Hauz Khas Road

City Monument – Jagannath Temple, Hauz Khas Road

Vision in white. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Amid acres of dusty brown ruins, rises an apparition in spotless white. This afternoon, Sree Jagannath Mandir is looking like an edifice of ice. The only notable interruption to its…

City Faith - Hazrat Amir Khusro's 719th Urs, Hazrat Nizamuddin Sufi Shrine

City Faith – Hazrat Amir Khusro’s 719th Urs, Hazrat Nizamuddin Sufi Shrine

Commemorating a legend. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Attention please. Now is the most important time in the calendar of Delhi’s poetry aficionados. Usually, a person’s birth anniversary is celebrated. In poet Amir Khusro’s case, it is his…

City Faith - Ramzan Treats, Old Delhi and Around Town

City Faith – Ramzan Treats, Old Delhi and Around Town

Season’s evenings. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Jama Masjid is lit for night. The facing street is jazzed up with lamps, buntings and selfie clickers. Salam Namaste to this evening in Ramzan, the Muslim month of quiet…

City Faith - Durga Mandir, Paharganj

City Faith – Durga Mandir, Paharganj

A blessed street. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The lane is alive with the sound of a man singing a bhajan. Everything else this afternoon is quiet, as if to keep the sanctity of the sacred lyrics. The…