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Chiragh-i-Delhi Dargah

Chiragh-i-Delhi Dargah also spelled as 'Chiragh-i-Dihli Dargah' and 'Chirag-i-Delhi Dargah' is located within the Village of Chirag Delhi and is approachable from Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg (Road) from where one needs to travel through the outer Ring Road or the main Chirag Road crossing through Soami Nagar South Colony. The best landmark is the road that stretches straight from Moti Bagh right through to Nehru Place via IIT Flyover but there is no need to travel up till Nehru Place as Soami Nagar Colony comes way before Nehru Place and after IIT Flyover in South Delhi. Just ensure to look at the huge blue coloured direction boards embedded beside and atop the roads for assistance. You can either drive to this Dargah or travel by hired auto rickshaws or taxis.

The Dargah of Chiragh-i-Delhi is the mausoleum or burial tomb of a renowned Sufi Saint named Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud Chiragh Dehlavi who was born around 1274 in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, he was known only by the name of 'Nasiruddin' and born to Sayed Yahya who was a small Trader of Pashmina wear and textile. Nasiruddin's grandfather named Sayed Abdul Latif had migrated from Khorasan which was in the North-eastern part of Iran to Lahore in Pakistan (today) who then settled in Ayodhya. Sayed Yahya died when Nasiruddin was only 9 years old and hence was brought up single-handed by his mother alone. He was initially educated by Maulana Abdul Karim Sherwani and later continued under the guidance of Maulana Iftikhar-ud-din Gilani.

Nasiruddin left Ayodhya around 1314 when he was 40 years of age and came to Delhi (Dhilli) to become the disciple of Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya where he decided to permanently settle for the rest of his lifetime as his 'Murid' or 'Disciple'. After the demise of Khwaja Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, Nasiruddin became his successor and religiously preached the Order of Chisti with dignity and honour and became a renowned poet in the Persian Language. Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud was a complete contrast to his Master. He disagreed to listen to 'Sema' which was considered as an insult and a non-Islamic act by the Muslim Religious Intellects during that Century and for this very reason, even today, 'Quwwalis' are not sung beside his Tomb and Dargah in South Delhi. Most of his descendants moved to Hyderabad and his elder sister was buried in Ayodhya and a Dargah of Badi also known as 'Badi Bibi' was erected in her honour that exist even today in Ayodhya.

Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud was awarded the title of 'Roshan Chiragh-e-Delhi' which means the 'Illuminated Lamp of Delhi' and hence was conferred with the title of Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud 'Chiragh Dehlavi'. He passed away at the age of 82 in 1356 AD also dated as '17 Ramadan 757 Hijri' as per the Ramadan Hijri Islamic Calendar. The Sultan of Delhi Sultanate named Feroz Shah Tughlaq of the Tughlaq dynasty (1351 - 1388) constructed the Tomb for Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud Chiragh Dehlavi to honour him as he was an avid follower of his teachings.

After the demise of Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud Chiragh Dehlavi, his disciple and follower named Khwaja Bande Nawaz Gezu Daraz continued preaching the Order of Chisti in Delhi and often travelled to Ayodhya where he attracted many followers including Allama Kamal-ud-din Awadhi, Shaikh Fateh-ul-lah Awadhi and Shaikh Zain-ud-din Ali Awadhi. He then moved from Delhi to Daulatabad in 1398 after the surprise attack of Sultan Timur on Delhi. He later moved to Gulbarga in Karnataka in South India upon invitation from King Firuz Shah Bahamani where he stayed for 22 years of his life preaching the Order of Chisti in the entire region of South India. Khwaja Bande Daraz passed away in 1422 during the month of November and his Dargah exist today within the city of Gulbarga.

The Dargah of this renowned Sufi Saint Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud Chiragh Dehlavi was initially enclosed with a rectangular shaped wall made of rubble stone. Later, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq (successor of Feroz Shah Tughlaq) constructed the Chamber and added two gateways on either side of the Mausoleum. This Tomb underwent numerous renovations through the centuries and is seen today enclosed with a square shaped Chamber supported by Twelve Pillars and small dome shaped Towers at each corner which in turn is supporting a larger plastered dome that sits on an octagonal shaped drum. The Chamber is enclosed with perforated screens through which the Shrine or Chiragh-i-Delhi Dargah of Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud can be viewed.

Later, several additions were made to Chiragh-i-Delhi Dargah which includes a 'Majlis Khana' or an 'Assembly Hall' also known as the 'Mahfil Khana' or the 'Symposium Hall' and a Mosque which was constructed by Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar during the early 18th Century AD in honour and respect of this mystic Sufi Saint. The Tomb of Bahlul Khan Lodhi who was the founder of the Lodhi Dynasty also lies close to this Shrine. Through these centuries, Urbanisation saw the growth of settlements around this Dargah and the Village settlement around the Shrine was named after Sufi Saint Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud as 'Chirag-i-Delhi' that lies today very close to Greater Kailash in South Delhi. This Dargah is a must visit for any tourist owning to its ancient and religious significance and is opened to public on all days from mornings up till evenings.

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