Photo Essay – Hazrat Nizamuddin’s Birthday Celebrations, Nizamuddin Dargah
Night of the committed devotees.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The 796th birthday of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the 14th century sufi saint of Delhi, was celebrated on the night of February 1, 2011. Forgetting their professional rivalries, musicians from all the sufi shrines of the city gathered in one group to sing qawwalis – the love poems composed in praise of the saint. For a change, they sang the qawwalis not as a stage performance but as an offering to the saint.
The shrine’s courtyard was decorated with flowers and electric bulbs. The marble floor was covered with carpets. The pillars and walls were decked with bouquets. The walls inside the principal shrine, the site of Hazrat Nizamuddin’s grave, were draped with green curtains that had golden lace.
Hundreds of people visited the dargah in the night. Sweet rice was served to all in polythene packets. Some stayed till morning. One of them was Sadia Dehlvi, the author of Sufism: The Heart of Islam. “It is the year’s most beautiful night,” says Ms Dehlvi. “People who remain till morning are not tourists or mere sufi music lovers but committed devotees of Hazrat Nizamuddin. The whole atmosphere is charged with spirituality. There’s magic in the air.”
Where Mathura Road, Nizamuddin Basti, Near Humayun’s Tomb Nearest Metro station Khan Market
Dargah dressed like a bride
Flowers for you
Music for the soul
In the tomb
The night pilgrims
Sadia Dehlvi, in red