Bangalore’s Iconic Dargah: Go for those lucky talisman - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Bangalore’s Iconic Dargah: Go for those lucky talisman

Entering one of Bangalore's most famous dargahs

Most visitors to Bangalore think of Church Street and MG Road as Bangalore’s heartthrob places, but I know that is the narrow, crowded and bustling lanes of Cottonpet, Chickpet, Akkipet, Upparpet, BVK Iyengar road and KR Market. Not only is this area the merchant trail of Bangalore and the warehouse of nearly all of Bangalore’s goods, but it is also steeped in rich history and culture. One such location in this region is Dargah Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwadi R.A., a 250 year old tomb of a Sufi saint and it is also one of Bangalore’s oldest and largest dargahs.

Shopping time on the traditional bazaars of Chickpet, Bangalore

Legend has it that Haider Ali, father of Tipu Sultan himself initiated construction of this dargah and the mosque attached to it and the construction was completed by none other than Tipu Sultan himself. An integral part of heritage walks in Bangalore, this iconic dargah brings to light the life of the Sufi saints who migrated to Karnataka from Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East during the Adil Shahi rule in the 17th century.

The glittering Dargah Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwadi, Bangalore

There are quite a few folklore associated with this dargah. One says that 3 Sufi saints and brothers worked as manual labourers without wages during the construction of Haider Ali’s Kalasipalayam Fort. This piqued Haider Ali’s interest, who offered to pay, and was requested to build a mosque instead. The three Sufi saints were Hazrat Tipu Mastan, Hazrat Manik Mastan and Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan.

Portrait of a shop owner - Dargah Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwadi

There is another folklore according to which, Haider Ali had a son after seeking the blessings of Sufi saint Hazrat Tipu Mastan, and thus the name of Tipu Sultan.

The Talisman giver at the dargah

Did you know that this mausoleum is equally popular with both Hindus and Muslims and in fact, a lot of Hindus visit this dargah to seek the blessings of the saint and pray for good health? There are a couple of folklores for it too. One says that the Sufi saint was trampled during a Hindu Karaga procession and was revived by the Hindu priests. Afterwards, all processions during the Hindu Karaga festival stop here. Another legend has it that during the annual Karaga from Dharmaraja temple, a person stopped at the dargah to seek the saint’s blessings so that the Karaga would not fall off his head and that tradition continues.

A shop right outside Dargah Hazray Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwadi

This mausoleum of Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan is open all year around, but it takes special character during the weekly prayer days (Friday Jumma), during the holy month of Ramadan, during the Hindu Karaga festival and during the annual urs (death anniversary) of the Sufi saints during Muharram.

Dargah Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwadi located in the heart of Bangalore

The pilgrims and devotees believe that this dargah and the blessings of the saint help ward off ill health and fulfils many wishes. And that is why, a lot of people visit this dargah with their kids every Friday afternoon to get a lucky talisman or tabeez for them. It is said that such talismans ensure good health of body and mind for the kids. A lot of poor people and those suffering with ill health visit this dargah and pray for good health. Some even tie locks on the gates of this dargah for the same reason.

Religious fervor seen at Akkipet bazaar, Bangalore

There is no particular way to pray at this dargah. Hindu devotees pray the same way they would in a Hindu temple. Muslims pray the way they would in a mosque. There is no right or wrong here. At some places inside the dargah campus, you will feel it is pretty much like a Hindu temple. At times, you will feel it resembles a mosque especially during prayer times and at other times, it will resemble a mausoleum. The only caveat is that one needs to cover their head while visiting the inner sanctum of the mausoleum and leave their footwear at the entrance of the dargah. Apart from these two, there are no other rules as such.

One of Bangalore's iconic dargahs

As soon as you enter the dargah, you will feel its strength through religious fervor, serenity and the rich incense aroma. You will come across singers, helpers, handicapped, under privilged, your regular devotee and a whole bunch of people from different sections and stages of life. Each visit this place in faith for peace of mind, a feeling of good and an overall sense of calm.

Video Note: Watch this video in 4K resolution for best effects.

While it is totally calm inside the dargah, the street in front of the dargah is totally chaotic, vibrant and colorful. Made up of a myriad of shops that sell everything from flowers, incense, religious paintings, fruits to food and beverages, these stops are surrounded by pilgrims, famous Bangalore traffic and all those shoppers and traders headed deep into the merchant trails of old Bangalore. I find it very interesting to just walk in front of the dargah and lose myself in the chaos that surrounds it.

Whether you are visiting Bangalore’s iconic dargah to know a bit about our city’s history and heritage, to get yourself a lucky talisman or just to wish to soak in the chaotic merchant trails of central Bangalore, Dargah Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwadi R.A., is bound to leave you calm and at peace. If you have time at hand, do carry on further and head deeper into the colorful bylanes of Balepet, Chickpet, Mamoolpet and BVK Iyengar road. And if you are starting real early in the morning, pay the flower market a visit for those divine colors and fragrances.

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