Image by Ramesh Lalwani Getty Images
Visiting the marble shrine of Muslim Sufi saint Nizam-ud-din Auliya is Delhi's most mystical, magical experience. The dargah is hidden away in a tangle of bazaars selling rose petals, attars (perfumes) and offerings, and on Thursday evenings from sunset you can hear Sufis singing qawwali (Islamic devotional singing), amid crowds of devotees. The ascetic Nizam-ud-din died in 1325 at the ripe old age of 92. His doctrine of tolerance made him popular not only with Muslims, but with Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists as well.
Later kings and nobles wanted to be buried close to Nizam-ud-din, hence the number of nearby Mughal tombs. Other tombs in the compound include the graves of Jahanara (daughter of Shah Jahan) and the renowned Urdu poet Amir Khusru. Scattered around the surrounding alleyways are more tombs and a huge baoli (step-well). Entry is free, but visitors may be asked to make a donation.
A tour with the Hope Project, which ends at the shrine, is recommended for some background.