Shrines in Kashmir
Kashmir is famous for Sufism and it is a place known as “Pirwaer”, the alcove of Saints. A huge number of Sufis travelled to Kashmir with the message of Islam and converted the local population to Islam. The Sufi saints who came to Kashmir from Middle East with the message of Islam are revered in Jammu Kashmir by all the people irrespective of religion. It is this love for the saints that people of the state have built great artistic shrines dedicated to their beloved saints. The shrines have become important religious and festival centre in the entire state.
Sufis settled in many parts of the state, particularly on hills, where they found enough isolation to pray, meditate and worship the Lord. The local population, out of love and reverence for their saints, constructed beautiful shrined dedicated to them. Holy Places are found in almost every part of the state. The Sufi shrines in Kashmir
are a great architectural treasure. Some of the Holy Places are centuries old. Kashmiris pour all their love and devotion in maintaining and beautifying these Holy Places. There is a Holy place, big or small, almost in every village and town of the Valley. The Holy places are not restricted to Kashmir valley in particular, but are found in all the three regions of the state. All the Holy Places have a blissful air so much that one feels very close to Almighty inside these Holy Places.
The most popular and revered shrine of Kashmir is, however, not Sufi. It is the mosque of Hazratbal. The Holy place is the most important religious centre in Kashmir, as the sacred hair of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is preserved in the Holy place. The Holy place is a beautiful structure constructed on the left bank of Dal Lake. It is covered with pristine white marbles and is the only domed mosque in Kashmir. The mosque witnesses a huge rush of devotees on Fridays and on the festive occasions of Shab-i-Meraj and eid Mila-un-Nabi.
Many other shrines are popular in the valley. The stretch from Jama Mosque Nowhata to KhanyarChowk in Srinagar, almost a kilometre long is lined with Holy place dedicated to various Sufi Saints. Among these lines is the famous DastageerSahabHoly place dedicated to Syed Abdul QadirJeelani, which recently got burnt in a mysterious fire. The Holy place is 200 years old. Other famous Holy place include
- Aishmuqam dedicated to Baba Zain-ud-Din Wal
- Baba Reshi
- Chrar-e-shareef dedicated to Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani
- Muqdoom Sahab
- Dastageer Sahib Shrine dedicated to Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani
- Khanqah Srinagar dedicated to Shah-i-Hamadan
There are a number of other Holy Places in Kashmir that are revered by the people of Kashmir. The cave shrine on Aishmuqam is particularly popular among tourists because of its location and the fact that it falls on Srinagar Pahalgam road. Another popular Holy place among tourists is Baba Reshi near Gulmarg. Shrines are located in each part of the valley and they are usually busy with devotees thronging the Holy places in huge numbers on particular days.