The Veneration of Gharib Nawaz

The annual Urs (commemoration of death anniversary) of the Sufi saint Moin’Uddin Chisti at his shrine in Ajmer, Rajasthan (India) is one of the largest Muslim pilgrimages in the world.

The ‘ecosystem’ feeding off the shrine consists of pious pilgrims, vagabonds and charlatans, sightseers, mendicants and beggars, fakirs, shoppers, established and opportunistic vendors, pickpockets and thieves, the poor, the wealthy, the venal and the innocent…who come here during the Urs to seek spiritual salvation, riddance of ‘jinns’, money and entertainment. Even the transgendered hijras come to Ajmer to take part in the veneration of Gharib Nawaz.

The pilgrimage is populated by Muslims (Shi’a and Sunni, Sufis and non Sufis), Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Christians and non-believers, who all congregate to pay homage to the most important Sufi saint of South Asia.

All Images © 2013 Tewfic El-Sawy. All text and images appearing on this web site are protected by United States and international copyright laws.

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