Puja day in Tughlaq ruins

Hurry up, mom

The last time I visited Tughlaqabad Fort, a small shrine was drawing a crowd for puja. Despite multiple trips to the fort, which is my absolute favorite hideaway in Delhi, I have yet to discern just who this shrine celebrates.

A small stream of worshippers continued even in the afternoon heat, as they carried food and items for puja. Festive times for a fort that is usually home to herdsmen and a handful of tourists who escape the beaten path.

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Monk out for a hike

Monk walks

A monk hikes along a small trail surrounding Dharamshala’s Namgyal Monastery. The circuit draws pilgrims and is littered with shrines, prayer flags and other objects of devotion.

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Pull ‘er over for a quick prayer

A roadside shrine on the “highway” from Kesroli back to Delhi.

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Qawwali, down at the dargah

Wild music in the dark

Thursday nights, the dargah of Sufi saint Nizamuddin comes alive in Delhi. Qawwali players sing and rock a harmonium, tabla and more. It draws a crowd who come both for the music and to pay respect to the shrine itself.

The story of Nizamuddin is long and worth a read. But he’s one of the most famous Sufi saints who challenged his people and emperors alike.

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