The 8 Cities of Delhi: Exploring the charms of the Bygone era – Series 2

My second experience included exploring 5th city of Delhi Firozabad known better as Firoze Shah Kotla today. The Djinns is a very interesting experience where hundreds of local people visit to pray to the Djinns who are said to inhabit the place. I am sure you will connect to William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns with the mystery & aura of the place. I decided to experience the well-known place which is now considered a holy place where all your wishes come true: Praying to the Djinns in Delhi –As kids we all are familiar with stories of Aladdin and imagined Djinn to come out of a bottle and fulfill our wishes. So there I was walking my way inside the ruins of Feroze shah Kotla & my first reaction was of a shock. I was surrounded by so many believers, making offerings, wishing & Praying to the Djinns.I got to know that all of them have been fasting from morning and have receded into stillness & quietness for various reasons. It was fascinating to see their belief which got me spiritually connected. I even bought my own candles & flowers to offer to the mysterious Djinns and witnessed people sticking coins & photographs on burnt walls due to constant burning of incense which fills up the air. As I went further through the narrow staircase, I entered a cave like room which filled me with a complete aura of mystery. This place attracts believers & non-believers everyday but the complex is particularly crowded on a Thursday as many come to appease the Djinns.Once the wish is granted people come back to distribute Biryani & sweets out of happiness & showing respect to the Djinns. I must confess that though intimidating but this was truly an exhilarating experience for me.

The 8 Cities of Delhi: Exploring the charms of the Bygone era

Right after that I went ahead to experience the soul stirring Sufi music in the Nizamuddin Dargah (Mosque) in Delhi which also takes place every Thursday- It was a different experience for me to walk through the lanes to the Nizamuddin Dargah to experience the Sufi culture. I struggled to walk through the crowds & yet was charmed by the little stalls on sides of the narrow lanes selling, flowers & fragrances, masalas (Spices) & mithaais (Sweets). As it was a Thursday I found myself struggling my way through a lot of crowd to reach the Mosque. Today being a Thursday, thousands of Muslim Community (someone who follows or practices Islam & they consider the Quran, their holy book) is also looking forward to the Qawwali (a form of Sufi devotional music defined as Islamic Mysticism) which is sung by the musicians in the Dargah. As it is so special, people from all walks of life come in huge numbers to be swept off in the magic of the music. Sufi traditions first entered the Indian subcontinent during the early rule of Delhi Sultanate. Modern day Sufism is most popularly known for its poetry & its music with songs that attempt to unite the musician & the listener with the Divine. My love for God evoked in terms of romance through music as for all of us, it has a different impact. Music can inspire each person differently-soothe, excite, comfort & most importantly touches one in so many ways. Music speaks a universal language which made me feel one with the others. The saint was believed to be a Sufi mystic who was revered by the rich & the poor .The music adds to the ambience of the place which was enchanting to my senses. Uncovering each layer of Delhi is adding to my enthusiasm to explore even more & share with all of you our history & its significance.

By: Mallyka Singh

Mallyka is our explorer-in-residence, our newest member at the Destination Knowledge Centre.

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