(Last Updated on : 28/02/2014)
Haji Ali Dargah is a tomb
situated over an islet close to the Worli Coast in the southern portion of Mumbai
. This dargah is amongst the most reputed landmarks of the region of Mumbai and its architecture
is Indo-Islamic. It is believed that this Islamic monument
is connected to some legendary tales about doomed lovers. The burial ground of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari is present in Haji Ali Dargah. 'Qawwali
' is practised on Fridays at Haji Ali Dargah by Sufi musicians
History of Haji Ali Dargah
Built in the year 1431, Haji Ali Dargah in order to commemorate a rich merchant known as Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari who sacrificed all his worldly belongings prior to making a pilgrimage journey to Mecca, this building is over 400 years of age. Bukhari belonged to Bukhara in the Persian Empire which constitutes the region in Uzbekistan and he had travelled all across the globe in the initial part of 15th century, before settling in current-day Mumbai. Certain legendary tales have claimed that once this saint came across a poverty stricken lady weeping on the road, with an empty vessel. When he enquired from her what was the cause of her anxiety, she mentioned that she would be thrashed mercilessly by her husband as she had accidentally spilt the oil she had been carrying. Learning this, he told her to take him to the exact place where this incident had occurred.
Reaching there, he inserted his finger into the soil
and immediately the oil rushed out. Overjoyed, the woman
filled her container and went back to her home.
Much later, Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari was disturbed by a frequent dream which suggested that he had wounded Mother Earth by his action. He was filled with repentance and soon felt very ill and instructed his disciples to place his coffin carrying his body in the Arabian Sea
when he died. Therefore during his journey to Mecca Haji Ali left for his heavenly abode. However, quite miraculously the coffin carrying his body came back floating to the shores near the rocky islets near the shores of Worli. Thereafter, the dargah was established right here and is thronged by about 40, 000 devotees especially during Thursdays and Fridays.
Architecture of Haji Ali Dargah
A narrow causeway joins the dargah to the city boundary of Mahalakshmi and is about 0.62 miles in length. However, one can approach the dargah but it is dependent on the tides. Since there are no railings attached to the causeway it gets drowned particularly during high tide. One can easily reach the dargah during low tide. A grand marble courtyard is existent near the central shrine of this whitewashed building. An embroidered green and red 'chaddar' or tomb cover sheet is placed over the tomb of the mosque. A beautiful silver frame supports the tomb which is also equipped with marble pillars. There are exquisite marble pillars in the main hall which are wonderfully adorned with creative green and blue mirror work, yellow chips of glass
organised in kaleidoscopic patterns decorated with Arabic patterns spelling all the ninety-nine names of Allah. Separate praying rooms for gentlemen and ladies have been made.