The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
 Summer 2015          



 Summer 2015


 Editor's Note

 Maharaja Duleep

 Nizamuddin Revived

 Nizamuddin Basti

 Sunder Nursery

 Humayun's Tomb

 Nizamuddin Dargah

 Gautam Gambhir

 Kangchenjunga - 60
 Years of 1st Ascent

 Darjeeling & Beyond

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 India Thru the Lens
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 Nizamuddin Dargah

Nizamuddin dargah has a universal appeal. It is one of those rare places where Muslims, Hindus, Christians – people of all faiths - pray alongside.  The 14th century Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, who lived and died here, was one of the most prominent figures in Sufi Islam. His message of humility, mercy, and religious tolerance held a mass appeal. Followers and devotees came from all classes. He not only promoted Hindi as lingua franca for India, but “equally emphasised the importance of better understanding and appreciation of various religious traditions, customs and history.” He advised his ardent disciple/devotee the poet Amir Khusro to write in Hindi “so as to popularise the language among Muslims. A common language helps remove the feeling of estrangement and can bring the communities closer."

The area where the dargah and basti are located was once known as Ghiyaspur. It was after the saint’s death that it was renamed Nizamuddin in his honour. The dargah is the place of his burial, the place where his physical remains lay. It has grown into a significant pilgrimage destination. Devotees and followers from all faiths and religions travel across the Indian subcontinent and the world to his shrine, particularly at the time of his ‘urs’ or death anniversary.

While urs is the death anniversary, the birth anniversary of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya is known as Ghusal Sharif.  It was recently celebrated on 16 December 2014. The shrine was bedecked with flowers for the occasion. “While the espresso coffee machine was placed beside an unknown stone grave, a sophisticated audio system for the night-long qawwali session was set up inside the beautiful open-air tomb of Princess Jahanara. The highlight was Ustad Nishat Khan’s sitar recital.” -  Mayank Austen Soofi

 Chahal Roza is the biography of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1325). It was penned by Raja Hardev, a scion of the Maratha royal family of Devgarh and an ardent devotee of the saint. The book not only gives the life account of Hazrat Nizamuddin but highlights his instructions and teachings to strengthen the bonds of harmony and unity among Indians.” – Arif M Khan


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