Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi
A sacred shrine for the Muslims of Delhi and its neighborhood, Nizamuddin Dargah nestled between Humayun’s Tomb and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station sees visitors from other religious communities like Hindus, Christians and many more. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the greatest of Sufi saints from the Chisti order (1238-1325) preaching love and humanity is entombed here. He was born in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh and became a devout disciple of Sufi saint Baba Farid. Notable personalities like Mughal Princess Jehan Ara (daughter of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan), esteemed Indo-Persian poet Amir Khusro (disciple of Nizamuddin), Abul Fazl- the historian of Emperor Akbar are all entombed very close to Nizamuddin Dargah. So renowned and sacred is the influence of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya that the area is named after him.
Cenotaphs of noted personalities like Mirza Ghalib’s tomb, Sabz Buri (Blue Gumbad), Chaunsath Khamba, Barkhamba, Lal Mahal is clustered around Nizamuddin Circle. Upon entering the premises of Hazrat Nizamuddin’s tomb, visitors and devotees will notice decorative grilles and latticework on them in the form of jaalis, courtyards, marble arches which impart a mystic aura to the area. Devotees tie sacred red threads on the grills as they believe that their wishes will come true along with their prayers on the holy ground. The tomb or shrine is a sight to behold enshrouded in perfumed green fabric whereupon entering the devotees offer their reverence to the saint with rose petals and incense sticks.
Every Thursday special Qawwali performance is organized on the Dargah grounds at 7:00 pm in the evening and the complex comes alive decked up in ornamental lights to the soulful tunes and melody belted out by Qawwal singers who sing hymns in praise of the saint. Such is the appeal of the performance that Bollywood films have portrayed them several times with scenes being shot inside the Dargah complex. Films like Delhi 6 and Rockstar included Qawwali performances like ‘Arziyaan’ and ‘Kun Fayan Kun’ which mesmerized the audience. Women are restricted from entering the main shrine and devotees have to leave their slippers and shoes outside the premises before entering the shrine as well as required to cover their head with scarf in respect of the saint.
‘Urs’ (wedding) and death anniversary of the Sufi saint is celebrated inside Nizamuddin Dargah with great fanfare every year. The step well inside the Dargah complex is an architectural marvel and is well maintained. The nearest metro station is JLN Metro Station and the best time to visit the Dargah is between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm in the evening although it can be visited throughout the day 24x7. Do not forget to dig in to some lazeez kebabs famous in this area while on a trip to the saint’s tomb.