Friday, 24 April 2015

Places to visit in Mumbai: The Haji Ali Dargah

Some of you who are not from Mumbai (or Bombay) may have read about the Haji Ali Dargah (tomb) being cited as a meeting point in the famous novel Shantaram written by Gregory David Roberts.

The view of Bombay including the Haji Ali Dargah from my hotel during dusk

I was staying at the Palladium Hotel and from here the Haji Ali Dargah was clearly visible so I decided to visit it despite my tight schedule. I took a taxi which took the fare by the meter. Now as a Delhiite this always surprises me about Bombay because first of all you can’t hail a taxi in Delhi from the street as they are available only from stands; secondly they may refuse to go to a particular place; thirdly they may not go by the meter and fourthly the meters mostly seem tempered.

Haji Ali Dargah & the causeway at low tide

The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in Indo-Islamic style of architecture in memory of Syyed Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. It is located on a small island off the coast in Worli.

Shops selling Chadar, flowers etc near the Haji Ali Dargah

The believers and the tourists access the Haji Ali Dargah by a km long causeway which gets submerged during high tide and one can go only during low tide. In case you are there during the high tide, you will have to wait till low tide to return to the mainland. The walk to Haji Ali is a bit dirty though the premises are neat and clean.

At the Haji Ali Dargah

Men are allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum with the tomb though the ladies can only see it through a mesh. Women are generally allowed inside a Dargah but their entry to this particular Dargah was stopped in 2012. It is odd that a Sufi Dargah should ban women’s entry.

The sanctum Sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah

Photography inside is not allowed though you can take the pictures from the outside. Behind the mosque people sit on the rocks and enjoy a picnic with the cool sea breeze.

People come to Haji Ali Dargah not only to visit but also as a picnic as well

I had gone in the morning so there was not too much rush though I have heard that on Fridays there is a huge rush. The shops along the causeway sell things like flowers, chadar etc and the causeway is also full of beggars but they do not harass the visitors as in Ajmer Sharif.

The Haji Ali Dargah shot from another angle

This post is part of Skywatch Friday.

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5 comments:

ladyfi said...

It looks like a lovely place to visit.

Anil Yadav said...

It definitely is worth a visit ladyfi.

Angelo Mathews said...

This is really beautiful places to visit in Mumbai

Aana said...

All places mention in your post all really amazing

Ashwin said...

Great post!! thanks for sharing this wonderful post in this blog. Really loved reading this blog. Well written with picture. Travel and explore to those places by booking your bus tickets in advance in VRL Travels and make your trip as memorable trip.