City Faith - Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Kucha Pati Ram

City Faith – Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Kucha Pati Ram

The sacred secret. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The courtyard is flooded with daylight. The marble feels cold to the bare feet. A hand pump lies in the corner. This tranquil destination is one of the very few…

City Faith - Sheetla Mata Mandir, Gurgaon

City Faith – Sheetla Mata Mandir, Gurgaon

Goddess of smallpox. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] On Mondays, Sheetla Mata Mandir in Gurgaon, in Greater Delhi Region, attracts the biggest crowd in the week — or at least it used to be so in the BC…

City Faith - Lockdown Epic Reading, Ghaziabad

City Faith – Lockdown Epic Reading, Ghaziabad

From choir to duet. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They would always take the possibility of unexpected monsoon showers into account, as well as that of unexpected power cuts. But they hadn’t thought of this situation. Every year…

City Faith - Newly Restored Sufi Shrines, Hazrat Sarmad & Hazrat Hare Bhare Shah

City Faith – Newly Restored Sufi Shrines, Hazrat Sarmad & Hazrat Hare Bhare Shah

A pandemic-era restoration. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A historic place in Delhi, drastically transformed. While life in the city has severally shrunk due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the capital’s most important Sufi shrines, or dargahs,…

City Faith - Hazrat Amir Khusro's 716th Urs, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's Sufi Shrine

City Faith – Hazrat Amir Khusro’s 716th Urs, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Sufi Shrine

One of the one percent in 13 million. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Places of worship are allowed to open from today—after being closed all this while due to the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But the…

City Faith - Shitala Mata Temple, Gurgaon

City Faith – Shitala Mata Temple, Gurgaon

The goddess of fevered times. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Many of us are eagerly dreaming of the happy day when corona virus will disappear from the face of earth, and when we — newly vaccinated folks —…

City Faith - Gurudwara Damdama Sahib, Near Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station

City Faith – Gurudwara Damdama Sahib, Near Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station

Sacred serenity. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] On this mildly cool afternoon the utterly peaceful world here at Gurudwara Damdama Sahib seems in perfect harmony with the creation. The air is filled with bird sounds, the tree leaves…

City Faith - Shiv Hanuman Temple, Daryaganj

City Faith – Shiv Hanuman Temple, Daryaganj

Shiv sighting. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In a city where blue sky is as elusive as a dream, it is dream-like to see Lord Shiv gleaming in blue—his statue is majestically perched atop this little-known but beautiful…

City Faith - A Secretive Sufi Shrine, Connaught Place

City Faith – A Secretive Sufi Shrine, Connaught Place

Peace in the chaos. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] One has seen the whole of Connaught Place (CP), isn’t it? It’s one beloved destination in the capital familiar to almost every Delhiite. Each of us has our own…

City Faith - Private Temple, East Delhi

City Faith – Private Temple, East Delhi

Relationship with gods. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] In the course of her lifetime, Vimla Rani has accumulated all manner of precious possessions. Dozens of saris, hundreds of bangles and—a miniature temple, and a very simple one at…