Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mosques & Shrines in Western India

The Haji Ali Dargah is one of the better-known landmarks o0f Mumbai, Set 500 yards into the sea, this mausoleum of the famous Muslim saint. Haji Ali, is accessible only during low tide. The Dargah of Sayeed Burhan Ud Din in Aurangabad is associated with the Chisti missionary buried here in 1334. It is believed that the shrine contains hair from the Prophet’s beard, which magically increases in number when they are counted each year. Another important shrine in Aurangabad is the Dargah of Baba Shah Muzaffar, a Sufi saint and a great spiritual advisor of Aurangzeb.

At Khuldabad, near Aurangabad is the VargaH OF Sayeed Zain-ud din. The Dargah houses a sacred relic, the Robe of Prophet Mohammed. This jealously-guarded relic is revealed to the public once a year, on the twelfth day of the Isalamic month of Rabi-ul-Awwal (usually around November).

When the tomb becomes the focus of a festival attracting crowds of worshippers from all over Indai. In the small village Shivapur, near Pune, lies the celebrated Kumar Ali Darveh Dargah, visted by people belonging to all religions. A unique feature of this Dargah is the presence of two huge stones which can be easily lifted by recting the sacred name of Kamar Ali Darvesh in one breath. The Dargah is also the venue of an annual ‘Urs’. In the centre of the old city of Ahmedaba, In Gujarat, lies one of the most beautiful mosques of India, the Jumma Masjid, built by the city’s founder, Sulthan Ahmed Shah in 1423 AD. Built in yellow sandstone, this Mosque combines the best of Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture. Also in Ahmedabad is the Sidi Sayyid Mosque, famed for its exquisite stone window tracery. Each year, during the six-day Urs, thousands of devotees from different religious backgrounds, gather at the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, in Ajmer. Rajasthan, the final resting place of the Sufi Saint. It is believed that those who pray here with a pure and devour heart will have their whishes fulfilled.

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