Enjoy live performances by Sufi devotional singers in the evening as the mosques light up with the festivities of the holy month of Ramadan. As the sun goes down, apart from prayers, Muslims indulge in iftar, shopping, and music. Here are the top spots around the country to enjoy the soulful performances of qawwali. By Radhika Sikaria
1. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, Delhi
The most popular site for qawwali in India, this is shrine is also the home of the most famous qawwali family, the Nizami Bandhu, who’ve been singing here for hundreds of years. The group of Qawwals perform daily in the open courtyard from 6-7:30 pm and again from 9-10 pm. The best day to catch the performance is on a Thursday; although it tends to get very crowded. The neighbourhood is also lined with stalls selling delicious fares.
2. Ajmer Sharif, Rajasthan
Also known as Gharib Nawaz for the charitable work done by the shrine of Moinuddin Chishti, this is one of the most frequented dargah. Once you swim through a pool of vendors, beggars, and pilgrims, you can enjoy the spiritual power inside the compound. Qawwali is performed daily at dargah Sharif in Ajmer.
3. Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai
The mausoleum of Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, is a popular landmark of Mumbai. The dargah is built on a small islet in the Arabian Sea. As the pleasant sea breezes over you head to the Qawwal Khana where Qawwali recitals are held every week on Friday.
4. Yousufain Dargah at Nampally, Hyderabad
Every Thursday evening after the Isha prayers, you can feel the divinity in the air with pure live music performances by Qawwali groups, some of which even last through the night. The session starts after 9 pm. In the meanwhile, you can shop handcrafted perfumes that are only available in this part of the town.