A burst of yellow: Basant Panchami at the Nizamuddin Dargah

The Spring cheer is visible all over in the Dargah


February 7, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

Basant Panchami is one of the most important festivals celebrated at the shrine of Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, in central New Delhi. On this occasion, people from all across the country flock to the dargah to celebrate the onset of spring.

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Threads tied around the dargah multiply with wishes (mannat) sought by the devotees. People hailing from different parts of the country, following different faiths and belonging to different socio-economic classes gather here in hope the saint granting them their boon. Typical offerings at the shrine include flowers, incense sticks, perfume (itr) and a sheet (chaadar). The Nizami brothers, the family that runs the dargah, can be seen sporting yellow caps and scarves to go along with their best clothes.

Though the crowds start visiting the holy site since the morning, to offer their prayers and seek blessings of the Patron Saint, the highlight of the day starts later in the afternoon with a large procession where devotees sing qawwalis in the memory of Nizamuddin.

The procession begins from the entrance gate of the dargah, and the offerings are placed on the Saint’s grave. Following this, qawwali (religious music) is sung inside the dargah and outside in the courtyard. Though the qawwalis are sung without the usual accompaniment of instruments like harmonium or tabla, they lend an ambience of devotion and humility to the entire gathering.

The dargah has people from all ages come and rejoice. Babies in their parents’ laps, old people asking youngsters for help and the innumerable video calls to family from people at the dargah makes you feel the interconnectedness of this world. The area is covered with people in shades of yellow before the procession begins. Then the qawwals  move to the saint’s beloved disciple, Amir Khusro’s grave and continue the singing there. There is such love in the voice of these singers who sing without instruments and still leave their audience numb. The evening dua concludes the celebrations at the dargah, and people slowly start to leave, a little more happy and a little more hopeful than before.



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