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The Magic of Qawwali at the Nizamuddin Dargah

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia. For Qawwali lovers, Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi is one of the best places to visit. It is the dargah of one of the world’s most famous Sufi saints, Nizamuddin Auliya.  The dargah is visited by thousands of pilgrims every week. The site is also known for its evening qawwali devotional music sessions. The lyrics for qawwalis are usually simple, their meaning is usually clear. The vocalists sit in the front with the harmonium player, the percussionists and the accompanying singers are at the back. One can choose to visit this magical place on any day of the week, but undoubtedly visiting here on Thursdays is one of the best choices. The dargah is located in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi, amidst narrow bylanes and rows and rows of hawkers selling knick-knacks. It has also been featured in a number of Bollywood films including Rockstar (2011), Delhi 6 (2009) and Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015). Originally performed at Sufi shrines or dargahs throughout South Asia, the Qawalli music has made a place for itself in the hearts of people. It has achieved mainstream popularity and International audience in late 20th century. The credit of its international recognition belongs to the late Pakistani singers Nusrat Fateh Ali KhanSabri Brothers, and Aziz Mian due to various releases on the Real World label. On Thursday nights at the Dargah, one shall witness traders selling chaddars and incense sticks to the devotees. The scent of rose petals and the aroma of delicious kebabs adds more magic to the ambience. There is music, and music everywhere. In the present times, not only muslims enjoy the sweetness of qawwali but people from all the communities enjoy the taste of this form of music with their loved ones.

By: Anuja Arora