Reframing the Urban via Southern Spatial Religiosities: Mapping Sufi Geographies in the Indian National Capital Region

This project investigates whether Sufi shrines and other culture heritage spaces remain as sites of heterogeneity and persistent religious practice within urbanising landscapes.
Project status

This research project studies how real estate capital, Sufism-inflected vernacular Islam, and competing political religiosities shape urban space in the National Capital Region in India. This is a region that has functioned as a center of Sufism for several centuries, made spatially manifest by the presence of dargahs (shrines to Sufi saints) and roadside mazaars (lesser Sufi shrines). It is also a region that is facing rapid urbanization and is a context for religious competition. At the same time, traditionally, Sufi dargahs and mazaars have functioned as liminal and syncretic religious spaces that draw visitors, worshippers, and devotees from diverse faith traditions. The research project’s central premise is that the National Capital Region in India is a critical case and ideal space in the Global South from which to think and re-think the urban.

Principal Investigator: Dr Radhika Borde, University of Leeds

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