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Mosques and Shrines in Delhi

Mosques and Shrines in DelhiIslam is the second largest religion in India in terms of followers. In fact, Muslims constitute near about 12 % of the population in Delhi. Most of the Muslim settlements are in the Walled city area of Delhi that is also known as Old Delhi. Therefore most of the historical mosques and shrines are confined to this area. There are other shrines that are scattered all over the city. The most fascinating aspect of Delhi, that Delhites are proud off, is the composite Hindu-Muslim-Sikh culture. It is interesting to note that Delhi is free from religious frenzies that are so fast becoming a day-to-day phenomenon in the rest of India. Following are some of the most important mosques and shrines in Delhi: -

Jama Masjid
Raised on the highest pedestal of Delhi, Jama Masjid signifies grandeur. Built of Red-stone Jama masjid, also known as Masjid - e- Jahanuma in History, is the largest mosque in India. This was apparently the last monument erected by Shah Jahan before he was put captive by his son, Aurangjeb. The construction of the mosque began in 1650 and was completed in the year 1656. The mosque stands on a rock apparently the highest point of the southern ridge of Arravalies. This sand stone marvel has 3 intimidating double-storied gateways.

Fatehpuri Masjid
Fatehpuri Mosque or Fatehpuri masjid as it is popularly called in Delhi is on the opposite end of Red Fort across the Chandni Chowk. Fatehpuri Begum, one of Shah Jahan's wives, built Fatehpuri Masjid in 1650. The majestic structure is primarily built of red sandstone, typical of all the buildings of that era. This is one of the oldest surviving mosques in India that has only one dome. The later Mughal architecture encouraged multi-domed masjid.

Chirag Dihli Tomb
The Dargah of Chirag-e-Dihli is located in the Chirag Delhi Village. It is situated at a stone throw distance from the posh Greater Kailash II market. It is rather hidden amidst plantation in Chirag Delhi, an area named after the saint. It is the tomb, or Dargah as it is popularly called in India, of Sufi saint Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud. The Sufi saint was a mystic and poet amalgamated in one. He was bestowed with the title of Roushan Chirag-e-Dihli, which means the 'Illuminated lamp of Delhi' in English.

Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Tomb
Nizam-ud-din Auliya tomb is situated in the Nizamuddin village or Nizamuddin basti in the New Delhi region. The tomb is just opposite to famous Humayun Tomb in Delhi. This is the shrine of a famous mystic and Sufi saint of Chisti tradition, Sheikh Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Chisti. Nizamuddin Auliya was born in the then Oudh and now Uttar Pradesh in the year 1236. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya is said to be the direct descendent of Khwaza Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer. Auliya had a large following in India that included the likes of Aladdin Khilji, Mohammed bin Tughlaq and the great poet Emir Khusrau.

Qutab Bakhtiyar Kaki Tomb
The tomb of Khwaza Qutab Bakhtiyar Kaki is located in the Mehrauli village, just a kilometer off to Qutab Minar. He is popularly known as Qutab Sahib and had taken the surname 'Kaki'. He is the successor of Khwaza Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer and is revered for his piety and knowledge. He was born at born at Ush in modern Iran and visited India in the late 12th century and lived here during the reign of the Slave dynasty. The Dargah is in itself a melting pot for various religions in India and is considered to be a very sacred place by pilgrims of religions. The custom demands every pilgrim who truly believes in the saint to make a wish and tie a thread near the grave.