Monday, June 8, 2009

Haji Ali Dargah



HAJI ALI DARGAH (Hindi: हाजी अली दरगाह, Urdu: حاجی علی درگہ)is located in the islet of coast of Worli southern mumbai and is considered as most recognizable land marks.
It is situated 500 yards from the coast, in the middle of Worli Bay with worli located in its vicinity.It is linked to Mahalakshmi by a narrow cause way. This causeway is not bound by railings, and is lashed by the sea during high-tide. Therefore, the dargah is accessible only during low tide. It is bounded by the sea on either sides and this is considered as an highlight of the holy shrine.
HISTORY
The dargah was built in 1431 in memory of a Muslim preacher, Syed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.
Hailing from Bukhara, in the ancient Persian Empire and now in Uzbekistan, Bukhari travelled around the world in the early 1400s, and had come to Mumbai, as per the historical records available with the Haji Ali Trust.
According to a legend surrounding his mystique, once Bukhari saw a poor woman crying on the road, holding an empty vessel. He asked her what the problem was. She sobbed that her husband would thrash her since she had stumbled and accidentally spilled the oil she was carrying. He asked her to take him to the spot where she lost the oil. There, he jabbed a finger into the soil and the oil gushed out. The overjoyed woman filled up the vessel and went home.
Later, Bukhari had a recurring - and disturbing - dream that he had injured Mother Earth by his act. Full of remorse, he soon fell ill and directed his followers to cast the coffin carrying his body into the Arabian Sea. After his death, his followers fulfilled his last wish.
Drifting in the high seas for many days, the coffin finally came and rested on a tiny islet around half a kilometre in the bay off what is today known as Worli, south-central Mumbai.
Taking that as some kind of divine sign, his followers buried the coffin on that islet. Gradually over the years, small additions were made to the shrine, which progressively became famous as the Haji Ali Dargah
As many as 40,000 pilgrims visit the shrine on Thursdays and Fridays.

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