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Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai-A Religious Monument of Communal Harmony

Updated on May 3, 2017

A mosque housing a Dargah built on a tiny islet 500 meters from the coast, in the middle of Worli Bay in the vicinity of Worli, Mumbai. It is Arabian Sea around. You need to walk nearly 0.5 km through the causeway without any railings to help you, and the sea on both sides.


When I reached here on a rainy day in June, two years back, I could just watch it from a distant place only. June being the month of Monsoon, the whole causeway was submerged in the violent waves of the Arabian Sea. What I could see in the pouring rain was a white marble structure lying in the middle of the sea. A floating shrine in the Arabian Sea! Nevertheless, it was a spectacular scene.


It is my second visit. But this time the weather was fine. The causeway was safe with no splash of sea waves. The dargah is accessible only during low tide. But there was a great rush of all types of people- pilgrims, visitors, shoppers and onlookers. Both sides of the footpath were occupied by the vendors, who do brisk business. Cooling glass, cap, toys, ready made garments, cosmetics and eatables like ice cream, candies, hot snacks, everything were available there for a decent price.

When I entered on the holy shrine what fascinated me was a beautiful Qawwali. This is a sort of music being followed by the Muslims in certain parts of Asia. Listening qawwali is an enjoyable experience. The performers were singing loudly with rhythmic movements and enthusiasm. Covering my head I entered the dargah and prayed before the tomb of the Muslim Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. I felt relaxed in the devotional atmosphere prevailed there. The fragrance of the thick incense sticks filled in the air. It was a soothing experience.


Video of Haji Ali Mosque & Dargah, Mumbai (Credit: Seraj Ahmed)

History


Haji Ali, the saint is believed to be a wealthy local businessman, who renounced the material world and meditated at a nearby place following a pilgrimage to Mecca. One story reveals that the saint drowned at the place, where the mosque stands at present. Another version is that Haji Ali died during his pilgrimage to Mecca in early nineties and the casket carrying his body floated back, coming to rest near the rock bed on the sea at Mumbai, where his devotees built the Dargah. It was built in the year AD 1431.


Versions vary, but his power was one thing that all agreed and worshiped. People irrespective of caste and religion reach the dargah. They pray and make offers. The pilgrims include Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and followers of other faiths. Don’t be surprised if you see more Hindus here in the Mosque. It is a place of religious tolerance and communal harmony . Each one has their own reason for coming here. Their prayers have been heard and they have got the result like new job, marriage, health, wealth and children.

The beautiful interior of the Mosque
The beautiful interior of the Mosque | Source
Entrance of the Mosque
Entrance of the Mosque | Source
Another view
Another view
The Dargah surrounded by the Arabian Sea
The Dargah surrounded by the Arabian Sea | Source
During tide, rain and monsoon season no one can enter here as the whole causeway will be submerged in sea water and it will be extremely danger.
During tide, rain and monsoon season no one can enter here as the whole causeway will be submerged in sea water and it will be extremely danger. | Source
The Dargah
The Dargah
Colorful paintings and lightings
Colorful paintings and lightings | Source
Backyard of the Mosque
Backyard of the Mosque | Source
The causeway to the Mosque
The causeway to the Mosque | Source
The Rock-bed. Sitting here you can enjoy the beauty of the Dargah as well some part of the Mumbai city.
The Rock-bed. Sitting here you can enjoy the beauty of the Dargah as well some part of the Mumbai city. | Source
Covering your head with towel, you can enter the Dargah. All are welcome here.
Covering your head with towel, you can enter the Dargah. All are welcome here. | Source
The Tomb
The Tomb | Source
My family before the Dargah
My family before the Dargah | Source
This shop selling fruits and juice is a notable landmark of the Haji Ali Dargah by the same name Haji Ali Juice Centre
This shop selling fruits and juice is a notable landmark of the Haji Ali Dargah by the same name Haji Ali Juice Centre | Source
What a beautiful location.
What a beautiful location. | Source

Attractions


The Dargah is a brilliant specimen of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. It is a marble marvel showcasing the classic style of the olden times. The white colored structure is a delight to our eyes. The white domes and minarets offer you the beauty of the Mughal architecture of the period. The walkway, offering 500-yard walk is the main highlight of the trip. You will enjoy the cool waters and the pleasing breeze. You cannot enter the mosque during rough monsoon and tides.

Haji Ali Dargah was voted as one of the seven wonders of Mumbai. It is one of Mumbai’s chief landmarks and is situated about 500 yards from the Mumbai shoreline in the middle of the Arabian Sea off Lala Lajpatrai Marg.

Thousands of people visit the dargah daily. Visitors’ number may increase on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. At times, it looks like a sea of humanity, especially on the Ramadan Eid and Bakri-Id.

Behind the mosque, you can enjoy the cool breeze and play with the splashing waves. You can sit on the rocks and enjoy the sunset. A visit to this holy place is a divine and delightful experience. People of all faiths come, pray and enjoy together on this picturesque platform of God. Here the religion is ‘peace’!

For more information, visit the official web site of Haji Ali Dargah : http://www.hajialidargah.in


Contact Address:

Haji Ali Dargah Trust

Above Kinara Masjid,

Haji Ali,

Lala Lajpat Rai Marg,

Mumbai 400 026.

Tel: +91 - 22 - 23529082

Fax: +91 - 22 - 23524221


© 2014 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth

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    • profile image

      Berita Haji 3 years ago

      Awesome Annie!

      What a lovely description about Cyprus and it’s a place that any of us would visiting, especially after reading all that you wrote about it.

      - See more at: http://www.annieandre.com/2013/03/quirky-secrets-v...

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
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      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi thumbi7

      Thank you very much for visiting and commenting on my hub. It is after a long gap that I hear from you. Also glad on knowing that the photos are beautiful. Hope you are fine and go well with your writing ventures. All the best.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 3 years ago from India

      Very nice wrte up. Photos are beautiful

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Your comment is appreciated. Thanks for the visit.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A focus on another culture and place so beautiful and interesting. I like the photos.