Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

The Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, the marble shrine located in the West Delhi, dedicated to the renowned Sufi saint of Nizamuddin Chisti. The dargah (mausoleum), built in 1526, is a small hamlet stowed away in the midst of flower and perfume (aatar) markets. Dargah is often visited by people of all faiths, spreading the message of communal love.  

Many Mughal royals, ardent followers of the saint, choose the dargah as their final resting place. Among the 70 graves located in the dargah complex, some of the important figures buried here include Jahanara Begum, the daughter of Shah Jahan, Amir Khusrau who was an important Urdu poet and Sufi philosopher and Muhammad Shah - the Mughal emperor of the later part of the dynasty.

The mausoleum is beautiful structure made of marble and red sandstone showcasing the beauty of Mughal architecture. Adjoining masjid and bazaar are another popular attraction of the locality, and often visited by tourists.

Keynotes of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

· What is it? – Mausoleum of Sufi saint
· Address: Boali Gate Rd, Nizamuddin, Nizammudin West Slum, Nizamuddin West, New Delhi, Delhi 110013
· Opening time: Open 24 hours
· Entry fee: Free (but donations are appreciated)
· Architecture: Mughal architecture
· Time required: 45 mins to 1 hours
· Nearest bus stop: Lodhi Hotel / Shiv Mandir NZ
· Nearest metro station: JLN Stadium

Architecture of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

Historical records point out that, the main structure of the dargah was commissioned by Muhammad Bin Tughluq (See also Tughlaqabad Fort), after the death of the Sufi saint. In the subsequent years, the accompanied buildings were constructed and renovated accordingly. The present dome structure of the tomb was constructed in the 16th century by Faridun Khan.

Beautifully carved wooden door overlooking the Hujra-e-Qadeem where the popular Thursday Qawwali-sessions are hosted. Wall of the shrine are covered in eye catching Islamic calligraphy, believe to be composed by an Urdu poet named Allama Iqbal.

The shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Chisti is one of the beautiful examples of Islamic architecture (which comprised of several elements of Rajputana style of construction). Inside the main shrine, a marble balustrade canopy – surrounding the final resting place of the saint – is covered in perfumed sheets and flower offerings. The structure is surrounded by marble patio and lattie work jaalies. Close to the interior chamber, lies the tomb of Mughal princess Jahanara.

While the domes and arches of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah symbolizes Islamic architectural elements, the usage of jaalis (intricate marble lattice work) are Rajputana elements. Visitors are often seen tying small spools of threads on these lattice work jaalis. It is believed that tying a knot on the lattice work screen will grant wishes.   

The Jamat Khana Masjid, adjoining the shrine, was built in red sandstone. Walls of the masjid are carved with inscriptions from the Quran, floral motifs, and ornamental facades. On the other side of the complex, lies a small stepwell or Baoli. The well was commissioned by Hazrat Nizamuddin Chisti, and believed to possess healing powers.  

Culture of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

The dargah and the nearby areas are often believed to be the heart of the Sufi culture in India. The traditional Thursday Qawalli performances by renowned artists pulls in spectators from the different sections of the society.  Apart from that, the birth and death anniversary of the Chisti are celebrated with special services. The dargah has been featured in several Hindi and regional movies, and is an important cultural icon.

Dargah Courtesies

Here are the few things to remember before entering the Hazrat Nizamudadin Dargah:

1. Open your shoes

Before entering the shrine, remember to keep your shoes at the dedicated shoe racks. Usually these racks can be used free of charge, but remember to verify before using.

2. Wearing modest clothes

The dargah is an active place of worship, so the visitors are expected to dress up modestly. Women should cover their shoulders, head, and knees. Also, men should cover their heads.

3. Cover the head

Before entering the shrine, visitors are expected to cover their heads. Carrying a long scarf for the purpose is advisable.

4. Offerings and donations

It is advisable to take the lead of the locals while giving donations or offerings. Usually, flowers and chaddar (covering) for the shrine are offered by the locals.

5. Special sections are restricted for women

There are a few sections in the Hazrat Nizamudadin Dargah which are not open to women.

How to Reach?

1. Nearest bus stop: Lodhi Hotel / Shiv Mandir NZ

Busses that stop here: 419, 727, 445A, 727, 404, 445STL, 425STL, 419, 727, 419, 445A, 374, AC-423, 404, 425CL, 425STL, 445STL, 419, 727, 445A, 425CL, 404, 425STL, 445STL, 727

From the bus stop, head south towards the Boali Gate Road. A three minutes’ walk will lead you to the destination. The base fare of the busses is around INR 7 for 3 kilometers (1.9 mi), and increases thereafter. See also Delhi Bus

2.  Nearest metro station: JLN Stadium

Metro service: Violet (See also Delhi Metro Stations)

From the metro station, visitors can take autorickshaws or buses to reach the destination. For busses, head to the J.L. Nehru Stadium / Sunehri Pullah Bus Depot and take either 794 or 727 Delhi corporation bus heading towards Dwarka More Metro Station. After two stops, get down at Lodhi Hotel / Shiv Mandir NZ and walk towards the Hazrat Nizamudadin Dargah.  The metro fare is INR 10 for two kilometers, and then increases per kilometer travelled.