City Culture – How I Got Drunk and Lost My Virginity in Nizamuddin Dargah

Trance music in Delhi’s most famous sufi shrine. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Every Thursday evening music lovers gather at Nizamuddin dargah, the shrine of Delhi’s 14th century sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. They wait for the Nizami…

City Monument – Gurudwara Seesganj, Chandni Chowk

Holy and serene. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Not as open and airy as Bangla Sahib gurudwara in Connaught Place, Seesganj Sahib is as serene as any spiritual destination should be. It was built in memory of Guru…

City Faith – Urs, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

Celebrating the saint’s death. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Saturday evening, April 3rd, 2010. The sufis are celebrating the death anniversary of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, Delhi’s 14th century sufi saint. On this day, he married his lover. That…

City Music – The Real Sufi Stars

The qawwals of Hazrat Nizamuddin. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is amusing to see Delhiwallas scramble for pricey tickets each time a ‘big’ sufi music star such as Abida Parveen or Kailash Kher lands in the town…

Photo Essay – Basant Celebrations, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

Colour me yellow. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] On January 19th, 2010, the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya was all yellow. It was the eve of Basant Panchmi, the day that marks the arrival of spring. Hence yellow,…

City Monument – Birla Temple, Mandir Marg

The land of Vishnu. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Spread over seven acres, Shri Lakshmi Narain temple, popularly called Birla Mandir, is a dense neighbourhood of gods. A world in itself, it is a land of plenty. It…

City Faith – Muharram & Christmas

Mourning and celebrating. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is December 24th, 2009. Late night. A few people — some of them historians, diplomats, designers, actors — are driving to Nizamuddin East, a neighbourhood near Humayun’s Tomb. The…

City Faith – Ramayan Paath, Sahibabad

City Faith – Ramayan Paath, Sahibabad

Finding peace in the Hindu epic. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] Pushpa Singh’s living room in Vasundhara Valley Apartment Society has been turned into a temple. She and her husband, Kshetra Pal, are hosting Ramayan Paath, a continuous…

Capital Experience – Dawn @ Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

A must-see sight before you die. [Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi] One of the things to do in Delhi before you die is to watch the daybreak at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, the shrine of the 14th century sufi…

City Notes – No Women Inside Nizamuddin Dargah

Shame on the house of Delhi’s best known Sufi shrine. [Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi] What if Nobel laureate Mr. VS Naipaul goes to Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah? What would Mr. Naipaul, ever the pessimist, ever the cynic,…