Location of Nagore Dargah
Nagore Dargah is located in Nagore, a coastal town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
History of Nagore Dargah
Shahul Hamid in medieval era is believed to have performed many miracles in Nagore, and cured the physical affliction of Achutappa Nayak, a 16th-century Hindu ruler of Thanjavur. He is locally referred to as Nagore Andavar, meaning the "God of Nagore". Nagore dargah as it stands now is believed to have been built by ardent devotees of Shahul Hamid, with major contribution from Hindus.
Architecture of Nagore Dargah
There are five minarets in Nagore Dargah, with the Hindu Maratha ruler of Thanjavur Pratap Singh (1739-1763), building the tallest minaret. The dargah is a major pilgrimage centre that attracts pilgrims from both Islam and Hinduism, symbolizing peaceful coexistence between the two religions.
Festival in Nagore Dargah
The most prominent festival celebrated at Nagore dargah is the Kanduri festival. It is a fourteen-day commemoration of the death anniversary of Shahul Hamid. The common worship practices at Nagore dargah include the presentation of offerings, accompanied by the playing of musical instruments like Nadaswaram, a typical of Hindu religious tradition. The Shifa Gunta, a pool within the precincts of the dargah, is considered sacred; pilgrims take a holy dip in it. The hereditary Khalifa (Sufi saint), C selected from among the descendants of saint Yusuf, performs all the official and religious duties of the dargah.
Complex of Nagore Dargah
Nagore Dargah covers an area of 5 acres enclosed by a compound wall. The main complex has four entrances in each direction. The dargah is believed to have been built by ardent devotees of Shahul Hamid, who are 60 per cent Hindus. There are five minarets with different heights and the tallest one has a height of 131 ft (40 m). It was erected during the 195th death anniversary of Shahul. The dargah has a gold-plated dome located on the west face outside the main entrance over the tombs of Shahul, his son Yusuf and his daughter-in-law Saeeda Sultana Biwi. The other four minarets are 77 ft tall Sahib Minara, 93.5 ft (28.5 m) tall Thalaimattu Minara, 93.25 ft (28.42 m) tall Muthubaq Minara and 80 ft (24 m) tall Ottu Minara, each constructed in four cardinal points around the dome. As a mark of respect, devotees venerate the sandals of the saint which are preserved in the shrine. The central part of the dargah is the tomb of the saint Shahul Hamid, which is approached through seven thresholds. The four of these doorways of Nagore Dargah are made of silver and the remaining three of gold. The other tombs in the shrines are the ones for Shahul's grandson Hassan Alaihis Salam and Abdel Khader Gilani, each located in different chambers. The adjoining portion of the complex is called Peer Mandap, the Khalifa's place of fasting during the annual festival. Shifa Gunta is a holy tank with stepped sides, located within the precincts of the dargah.
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