Dargah of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz
(A sacred building)
One of the Muslim shrines in India, it attracts, lakhs of pilgrims from across India and the world. They come here to pay homage to the revered Sufi Saint of Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Chihsti, the bestower of boons.
The final resting place of the Saint popularly known as Gharib Nawaz, was built to the early 13th Century and is approached through a gigantic gate with silver doors. The ‘Buland Darwaza’ or the Great Gate leads to the second courtyard. The grave of the saint lies in a domed chamber encircled by a silver railing and a marble screen.
‘Qawwals’ or group of sufi singers from the world over come here to sing praises of the saint. Their mellifluous songs charge the atmosphere with a soul filled current. Here, fakirs pleads for alms while ‘Khadims’ or servants of the saint, look out for pilgrims. Outside the Dargah is a crowded bazaar. It is filled with ritual offerings made at the Dargah like shimmering coverlets for the grave, incense, sweetmeats, rose petals and attar-a strong perfume.
Two huge cauldrons originally donated by the Mughal emperors Akbar and Jehangir and replaced in the 19th Century are placed to the courtyard. Rice pudding is cooked in these cauldrons. The cooking of these ‘Degs’ (Cauldrons) is a unique event. Professional looters empty the degs in a few minutes and then jumps in together into the hot cauldrons and scrape them clean. The loot is sold as ‘Tabarruk’ (sanctified food) by the looters. The degs can hold up to 4480 Kg of rice respectively.