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Debangana Sen May 30 2014

Can you tell me some unique facts about the Haji Ali Dargah?

Benazir Khan May 30 2014
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Haji Ali Dargah is an important shrine in India. Located 500 yards from the shoreline of Mumbai, it is one of the most revered historical shrines in the country. It is an important pilgrimage site for Muslims, but sees a massive footfall from people of all faiths, who seek solace in its premises.

1. Introduction

The Haji Ali Dargah is one of the 7 Wonders of Mumbai, besides Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Walkeshwar Jain Temple, Gateway of India, Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Mount Mary Church and Global Pagoda.

Photo of Haji Ali Dargah (by Humayunn Peerzaada)

2. Present-day dargah

On Thursdays and Fridays, the dargah sees massive crowds of at least 20000-30000 people, which is double the number seen on the other days of the week. The whole place then looks like sea of humanity. These are the two days on which qawwali (devotional Sufi music) takes place in the dargah complex.

Photo of the tombstone of Haji Ali in the dargah (by Vaikoovery)

3. Location

The Haji Ali Dargah is built on a cluster of high rising rocks, 500 yards from the shoreline of the city. It is located in south Mumbai, very close to Worli, where one can indulge in flee shopping later.

Photo of the dargah’s location (by souravdas)

4. History

The Haji Ali Dargah was built by Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari in 1431 AD. Renovation work on the dargah in the 19th century is responsible for how the dargah appears today. Pir Haji Ali, a wealthy Muslim merchant, established a mosque at this site. He eventually renounced all worldly pleasures before embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca-Medina.

Photo of the interiors of the dargah (by Jagadhatri)

5. Myths about the dargah

It is believed that on his way to Mecca, Haji Ali died and was put in a coffin. This coffin, it is said, magically found its way to the same spot as the Haji Ali Dargah. Another legend has it that Haji Ali drowned at the same spot where the dargah stands at present.

Photo of the dargah by night (by AbhijeetRane)

6. Importance

The dargah is considered sacred by people of all castes, religions and communities. People from Mumbai and outside flank here in hordes to visit the shrine and seek blessings for a good future, marriage, health, wealth or to seek solace from their troubles.

Photo of the wall where mannat threads are tied (by lecercle)

7. Architecture

Architecture-wise, the structure boasts of Mughal and Indo-Islamic styles. Minarets flank both sides of the shrine. Red and green brocade work adorns the white walls of the mosque. It was built using “makrana” marble--the same marble that was used by Emperor Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal. The whitewashed structure has eroded over time owing to the reaction of the salty sea water on the white marble. It is quite surprising, therefore, that the 400 year old structure still stands tall.

Photo of the interiors of the dargah (by lubna_k)

8. Interiors

The Haji Ali Dargah comprises two parts--the tomb of Haji Ali and the mosque adjacent to it. The mirror work on the inside walls of the shrine lend a kaleidoscopic effect to the interiors.

Photo of the Indo-Islamic architectural style in the dargah’s interiors (by karan's pic stream)

9. Getting there

The route to the dargah is via a causeway. An interesting fact about getting to the Haji Ali Dargah is that it is entirely dependent on the tide. At high tide, the causeway is completely submerged in the Arabian Sea and the dargah appears like a glittering island. So plan your trip to the dargah at low tide.

Photo of the causeway that leads to the dargah (by soham_pablo)

10. Gastronomical delights

There are food stalls right outside the dargah premises, which sell delicious kebabs, biryani, koftas and nihari. Besides this, there are also ice creams and chaats to be savoured here.

Photo of the dargah during sunset (by travelwayoflife)

A trip to Mumbai is incomplete without a visit to the Haji Ali Dargah. Located at the heart of one of the most busy metros in the country, it is a little island of peace and serenity. Check out the other places to visit in Mumbai.

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