The dargah receives an average of 50,000 visitors a day, with the number rising to double that on Thursdays. Photo: Muslim Harji. Copyright.
The qawwali is held in front of the main entrance of the dargah of the Nizamuddin. The young and the old come together to offer their prayers and perhaps witness higher levels of consciousness, which resonates during the qawwali performances. Photo: Muslim Harji. Copyright.
Chicken Tikka. Photo: Muslim Harji. Copyright.
HAZRAT NIZAMUDDIN AULIYA AND THE BASTI
Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya was born in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh to parents that had migrated from Bokhara in Central Asia. Among the first important Sufi Saints born on the subcontinent, Nizamuddin Auliya encouraged the development and spread of medieval Sufi practices amongst Hindus of North India through his emphasis on equality, charity, and religious syncretism. By incorporating traditional ritual practices of the subcontinent—most famously the use of music in worship—Nizamuddin and other great Saints of the Chishti order indigenized Islam on the subcontinent, so much so that scholars and religious figures, both those sympathetic to and those opposed to Sufi practices, have attempted to trace its origins to India. His success amongst all populations and his openness to followers of all religious backgrounds has lent to his reputation as a great missionary in the name of Islam. 
The neighbourhood has one of the highest densities of medieval Islamic buildings anywhere in the world with over 100 monuments. “With over 700 years of living culture—it’s not only bricks and mortar, it’s Amir Khusro and Ghalib and qawwali,” said Ratish Nanda of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in India which has carried out restoration works on the gardens of Humayun’s tomb.
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Cultural development – Overview
The central water channel in the gardens of Humayun’s Tomb Complex in Delhi.AKTC / Christian Richters
Cultural activities in India are undertaken by the the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC). The largest cultural project to date has been the restoration and revitalisation of the Garden’s of Humayun’s Tomb, which has since expanded to the neighbouring Nizamuddin area, to Sundar Nursery and the restoration of a number of
The Humayun’s Tomb – Sundar Nursery – Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal Project
The Humayun’s Tomb – Sundar Nursery – Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal Project, in the heart of Delhi, India, combines a cultural heritage project with socioeconomic initiatives. The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality of life for people in the area while creating an important new green space for the people of Delhi and beyond.
Located in heart of New Delhi, the Nizamuddin heritage precinct comprises the areas of Hazrat NizamuddinBasti, Sundar Nursery and the World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb. Named after the revered saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, who lived here in the early fourteenth century, the area has witnessed centuries of tomb building as it has been, and still is, considered auspicious to be buried near a saint’s grave.
Following the successful restoration of the Humayun’s Tomb gardens in 2004, the Urban Renewal project commenced with the signature of a Public-Private Partnership memorandum of understanding on 11 July 2007. The non-profit partnership includes the Archaeological Survey of India, the Central Public Works Department, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The project will unify the three zones into an urban conservation area of considerable breadth and cultural significance while improving the quality of life for resident population.
The project integrates conservation, socioeconomic development and urban and environmental development objectives in consultation with local communities and relevant stakeholders. Since its inception, the project has attracted additional partners and received co-funding from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Ford Foundation, World Monuments Fund, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, the Embassy of the United States, J.M. Kaplan Fund, amongst others.
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