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Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah
Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah Review
One of Delhi's greatest treats is hearing devout Sufis sing qawwalis, ecstatic devotional Muslim songs with a decidedly toe-tapping quality. To get here, follow the twisting lanes in the bazaar section of Nizamuddin West—you'll pass open-air restaurants serving simple meat-based meals, tiny shops selling Urdu-language books and cassettes (some by famous qawwali singers), and probably a number of beggars appealing to the Muslim tradition of alms for the poor. When you see vendors selling flowers and garlands, you're getting close to the darga (tomb) of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, who was born in Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan) in 1238 and later fled with his family to Delhi, where he became an important Sufi mystic and attracted a dedicated following. He died in 1325.
The saint's tomb, built in 1562 in the center of a courtyard, is topped with an onion-shaped dome. It's also covered with intricate painting and inlay work, best viewed on the carved parapet above the verandas. Men can enter the shrine to pay their respects; women must peer in from outside. The tomb is flanked by a mosque and the graves of other important Muslims, including the great Sufi poet Amir Khusro and Jahanara, a daughter of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Evenings from around 5 to 7, especially Thursday, the saint's male followers often sing in front of the darga and you would best catch a performance. Crowds can be dense, and it's easy to lose your wallet or purse before you notice. Keep money and valuables secured when you're in and around the darga.
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