Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Five Renowned Sacred Mazars in Bangladesh

Sakib Khondoker


‘Religion’ is one of the key pillars that people tend to stand on; it gives us a path, a way towards ultimate contentment. But, how much do we know about?

Let’s have a look at the five most renowned mazars in Bangladesh, and why it is of utmost importance to visit them, at least once, irrespective of our religious diversities.

Tomb of Hazrat Shah Paran
Having played a significant role in propagating Islam and establishing Muslim rule in the Sylhet region, Hazrat Shah Paran had been exceedingly well-regarded. Born in Hadramaut, he was the nephew of Hazrat Shah Jalal. It is unclear as to how and when he died, but he is buried near his khanqah. His grave is located in a high hillock and is carefully preserved in a place built with bricks and surrounded by walls. On the northern side of the grave, there is an old tree named Asha-gachh (a tree of hopes), the branches and branchlets of which are extended above the entire tomb. There is an ancient mosque by the side of the tomb, which had been modernized in the early 90s. About 1500 devout Muslims can now say their prayers there.

Place: Sylhet

Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal
This fascinating and atmospheric shrine of the revered 14th-century Sufi saint Shah Jalal, is one of Bangladesh's biggest pilgrimage sites. Housing a mosque and the main tomb, the complex is accessed through an open staircase from the East Darga gate entrance. Shah Jalal’s tomb is covered with rich brocade, and the space around it is illuminated with candles in the evenings, lending a magical feel. Non-Muslims can enter; however there are certain dress codes that are needed to be maintained, and shoes need to be removed before entering. You can also walk around the hillside graveyard behind the shrine, dotted with tombs.

Place: Sylhet

Tomb of Hazrat Golap Shah
Amidst the hustle and bustle of Gulistan, one of the busiest intersections of the city, a small, beautifully decorated shrine known as the Golap Shah Mazar, catches the eyes of pedestrians and commuters passing the area.

For thousands of followers of Golap Shah, the century-old shrine with all its serenity and spiritual ambience, is a place for praying and paying respect to the spiritual leader. But very few people know the actual history of the shrine.

Situated in Gulistan, Dhaka, this is one of the most visited mazars and anyone not having visited it, well, should.

Place: Dhaka

Tomb of Konya Shah
Adjacent to the main tomb complex of Shah Paran, found in the East of Sylhet, is another tomb visited by worshipers, which is of Konya Shah. Legend has it, that this follower of the great saints was neither man nor woman. There is a permanent exhibition of the life of this saint; contemporary paintings and pictures featured at the exhibition depict a person most likely to be a eunuch. Though the original conquerors earned a prominent role in Islamic history, main stream Islam shuns the idea of worshiping saints. A road bridge over the Surma River, a passenger ferry, and a hall of residence at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, have all been named after Shah Paran.

Place: Sylhet

Shrine of Bayazid Bostami

Residing in Chittagong, the shrine area, as a complex, consists of a tomb surrounded by a brick structure, along with an old mosque and a large pond. The whole complex is located on a hillock of Nasirabad, considered to be a holy place and attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims daily. The tomb and the sarcophagus it houses, were originally discovered in 1831. This shrine is much different from all the aforementioned shrines; numerous myths and mysteries circulate around it.

Place: Chittagong

Relive the history for yourselves, of the five most sacred mazars in Bangladesh; hop on Tiger Travels Limited and make it a tour worth remembering. 

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