If you are looking for a spiritual and cultural experience in Mumbai, you should not miss visiting the Haji Ali Dargah, one of the most popular religious places in the city. The Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and a tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a wealthy Muslim merchant who renounced his worldly possessions and devoted his life to Islam. The dargah is located on an islet off the coast of Worli, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway that gets submerged during high tide. The white domed structure, surrounded by the Arabian Sea, is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic architecture and a symbol of Mumbai’s cosmopolitan spirit.
Haji Ali Dargah is one of the most visited religious places in Mumbai, attracting people from different faiths and backgrounds. It is a mosque and a tomb of a Sufi saint named Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who renounced his worldly riches and devoted his life to spreading Islam. The dargah is located on a small island off the coast of Worli, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway that can be accessed only during low tide. The white domed structure stands majestically in the Arabian Sea, offering a serene and spiritual ambience to the visitors.
The history of Haji Ali Dargah dates back to the 15th century, when Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a wealthy merchant from Uzbekistan, came to India for trade. He was deeply moved by the teachings of Islam and decided to go for Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. On his way back, he stopped at Mumbai and settled there. He performed many miracles and helped many people in need. He also built a mosque on the island where he lived. One day, he had a dream that he had hurt the earth by poking his finger into it and causing oil to gush out.
He felt guilty and asked his mother’s permission to leave this world. He instructed his followers to cast his coffin into the sea after his death, and let it float wherever it may. His followers did as he wished, and miraculously, his coffin came back to rest on the same island where he had built his mosque. His devotees then constructed a tomb over his coffin and made it a place of pilgrimage.
Haji Ali Dargah is an architectural marvel that blends Indo-Islamic styles. It has a marble courtyard with a central fountain, surrounded by exquisite marble pillars. The main hall has intricate mirror work and colourful glass windows that create a dazzling effect when sunlight falls on them. The tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari is covered with red and green brocade cloth and adorned with flowers and chandeliers. The dargah also has a minaret that offers a panoramic view of the sea and the city skyline.
Haji Ali Dargah is open from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm every day, but visitors can only reach it during low tide when the causeway is visible above water level. The best time to visit is during sunrise or sunset when the dargah looks ethereal against the changing colours of the sky and water. Thousands of devotees flock to Haji Ali Dargah every day, especially on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays when special prayers are held. Many people come here with their wishes and prayers, hoping for blessings from Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari who is believed to be very benevolent and generous towards his followers.
Haji Ali Dargah is not just a religious site but also a cultural hub that hosts various events throughout the year such as Urs (the death anniversary of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari), Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad), Qawwali (Sufi devotional music) nights etc.. It also serves as a platform for social service activities such as feeding
the poor, providing medical aid etc.. Haji Ali Dargah is an epitome of harmony,
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Haji Ali Dargah Location:
The Haji Ali Dargah is situated about 500 yards from the Mumbai shoreline on Lala Lajpatrai Marg, near Mahalaxmi Temple and Race Course. The nearest railway station is Mahalaxmi on Western Line. You can also take buses or taxis to reach the dargah.
Haji Ali Dargah Timing and Entry Fees:
The dargah is open from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm every day. The entry is free for all visitors, regardless of their religion or caste. However, you have to follow some rules and etiquette while visiting the dargah. You have to cover your head with a scarf or a cap, remove your shoes outside, avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless clothes, and maintain silence and respect inside the premises. You can also offer flowers, incense sticks, or sweets at the shrine.
Haji Ali Dargah Things to do / Must see:
The main attraction of the dargah is the tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, which lies under a silver canopy inside the main hall. The tomb is covered with red and green chadars (cloth sheets) and surrounded by marble pillars adorned with mirrors. Devotees believe that touching the tomb and praying with sincere faith can fulfill their wishes and heal their ailments.
Another attraction is the Masjid or Mosque adjacent to the tomb, where you can offer namaz (prayers) five times a day. The mosque has beautiful Persian inscriptions and intricate carvings on its walls and ceilings. Visit during Mumbai local sightseeing by Private cab
You can also enjoy the panoramic view of the sea and the city skyline from various points around
the dargah complex. You can watch the sunset over
the horizon or witness
the spectacle of lights at night.
Haji Ali Dargah Significance:
The Haji Ali Dargah is not only a religious site but also a cultural hub that hosts various events throughout
the year. Some of these events are:
- Urs: This is
the death anniversary of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari,
which falls on
the 16th day of Rabi-ul-Aakhir (the fourth month of Islamic calendar). On this occasion,
the dargah trust organizes
a special program of milad (recitation of Quran) and prayers after namaz-e-isha (night prayer). They also distribute niyaz (food/sweets) to all devotees,
and fakirs (mendicants).
- Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi: This is
the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),
which falls on
the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal (the third month of Islamic calendar). On this occasion,
the dargah trust displays
the sacred relics of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), such as his hair,
for public viewing after namaz-e-zuhr (afternoon prayer). They also recite fateha (blessings) at maghrib (sunset) and distribute niyaz.
- Ramadan: This is
the holy month of fasting,
and charity for Muslims.
During this month,
the dargah witnesses
a huge influx of devotees who come to break their fasts at iftar (evening meal) with dates,
and water provided by
the dargah trust.
They also offer taraweeh (special night prayers) in congregation at
Haji Ali Dargah Information:
The Haji Ali Dargah was built in 1431 by Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari himself before he left for Mecca.
According to legend,
he had a dream that he had injured Earth by poking his finger into it when he helped a poor woman who had spilled her oil.
He felt guilty and decided to go on Hajj (pilgrimage),
but he never returned.
How to rich Haji Ali Dargah:
To reach Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai, India, you can follow these steps:
- By train: The nearest railway station is Mahalaxmi station on the Western Railway line. From there, you can take a taxi, auto-rickshaw, or bus to the Dargah.
- By road: You can take a taxi, auto-rickshaw, or bus to Haji Ali Dargah. It is located on an islet in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Worli.
- By air: The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. From there, you can take a taxi or bus to Haji Ali Dargah.
Famous tourist attraction near Haji Ali Dargah
There are several famous tourist attractions near Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai, India. Some of these include:
- Mahalaxmi Temple: This Hindu temple is located near Haji Ali Dargah and is dedicated to the goddess Mahalaxmi. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus.
- Worli Sea Face: This is a popular promenade along the Arabian Sea, located near Haji Ali Dargah. It offers stunning views of the sea and is a great place to relax and unwind.
- Taraporewala Aquarium: This is one of India’s oldest aquariums and is located in Marine Drive, a short distance from Haji Ali Dargah. It has a wide variety of marine life on display.
- Nehru Planetarium: This planetarium is located in Worli, near The Dargah. It offers shows and exhibitions about astronomy and space science.
FAQ’s of Haji Ali Dargah:
Q: What is Haji Ali Dargah?
A: Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and mausoleum located on a small island 500 meters off the beach in Worli, Mumbai. It is the tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.), a Sufi saint and prosperous merchant in the 15th century.
Q: Who established Haji Ali Dargah?
A: Haji Ali Dargah was established in 1431 in honor of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.).
Conclusion of Haji Ali Dargah:
Haji Ali Dargah is a prominent landmark and a symbol of religious harmony in Mumbai. It is a mosque and a tomb of a Muslim saint, located on an islet off the coast of Worli. The dargah attracts millions of devotees and tourists every year, who come to pay their respects and seek blessings. The dargah is also known for its architectural beauty and its scenic location. The dargah reflects the Indo-Islamic style of architecture, with white marble domes, minarets and arches.
The dargah is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway that gets submerged during high tide. The dargah offers a serene and spiritual atmosphere for the visitors, who can enjoy the panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the city skyline. Haji Ali Dargah is not only a place of worship, but also a cultural and social hub that hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.
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