City Faith - Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Daryaganj

City Faith – Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Daryaganj

A barely known temple. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The scenes outside are passing in a blur. All you can see are lights flashing on the glass window. It’s like sitting in a super-fast Shatabdi. But this isn’t…

City Faith - Tree God, Hanuman Temple

City Faith – Tree God, Hanuman Temple

Sacred green. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This small Hanuman temple stands in a sprawling yard, here in south Delhi. A peepal tree’s sharp-tipped leaves make a jungle of shadows on the temple’s back wall. But the compound…

City Faith - Lockdown Ramzan, Jama Masjid, Gurgaon

City Faith – Lockdown Ramzan, Jama Masjid, Gurgaon

A world in pandemic. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The forever-optimistic Nashir Ahmed Khan in gloom? Impossible, you would think. But the second surge in the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. “I’m badhal (in bad shape),” he says,…

City Faith - Hazrat Madni Shah Baba, Near Jama Masjid

City Faith – Hazrat Madni Shah Baba, Near Jama Masjid

A shrine’s best-kept secret. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s one of the lesser known shrines of the capital and it is tucked within… oh well, another lesser known shrine. The historic graves of Hazrat Sarmad Shahid and…

City Faith - Hara Mandir, Gali Choori Wallan

City Faith – Hara Mandir, Gali Choori Wallan

Faith in green. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The temple is immersed in utmost quietude, so much so that you feel that if you concentrate enough, you might hear Devi Durga breathe. Attired in an orange fabric, her…

City Faith - Shiv Prajapati Mandir, Near New Delhi Railway Station

City Faith – Shiv Prajapati Mandir, Near New Delhi Railway Station

A wayside shrine. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This is the Capital’s super-congested heart, next to the New Delhi railway station. Outside, the road is clogged with cars and autos and the pavement packed with purpose-filled masked humans….

City Faith - Free Church, Green Park

City Faith – Free Church, Green Park

Souvenirs of Christmas. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Encountering a collection of decorations after the event they were meant to celebrate is over presents a poignant sight. Like, the morning after the wedding. Or the day/s after Christmas,…

City Faith - Consoling Windows, Krishna Temple, Gurgaon

City Faith – Consoling Windows, Krishna Temple, Gurgaon

The light these times. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This unfortunate year is nearing its end. From March onwards, every life has been defined by the coronavirus pandemic. Everybody has suffered his or her share of small and…

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…