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PANVEL’S KARIM SHAH BABA DURGAH PERSONIFIES FAITH

daghah-2Imagine a dargah dressed in pristine white with green trimmings, overlooking a lake, where the water is clean and green in colour, this is the Peer Karam Ali Shah Dargah, the oldest in Panvel built way back in 1747, though renovated in 1994. Sana Warsia visited this peaceful haven and brings to you its virtuous history. One look at it and you can’t tell that it’s been standing for decades. The dargah and the lake are opposite the Panvel Municipal Council. The still water of the lake, the impending height of the dargah pulls you to go inside and marvel at what the dargah has to offer. From afar, the dargah is an imposing structure in white, not tall, but rather wide, occupying a generous area of land. With a bottle green border all around the building, it makes an impressive picture. The dargah is named after Hazrat Khwaja Karam Ali Shah whose dargah is placed at the center. The main prayer hall forbids women from entering but they can sit on the cool marble outside and pray. Surrounding the main dargah are several other dargahs of the descendents some of them being the son of Hazrat Khwaja Karam Ali Shah – Hazrat Khwaja Muaajis Shah, Hazrat Khwaja Kutub Shah, Hazrat Khwaja Lutuf Shah and others. The caretakers here are the eighth generation. We spoke with Shafi Ahmed Khwaja Hafizulla Qureshi, whose son Hashim Qureshi has taken over as the caretaker or Khadim of the dargah. He recalled that earlier there was not much in the area with only open land and trees. While the dargah sees a lot of visitors during Thursdays and Sundays, during Urus, a mela that is held every year, devotees in huge numbers flock the dargah. At the time of Urus, the Nishaan is carried out where a green and red colored flag is hoisted at the top point of the dargah and after three days the sandal sharif is performed wherein a sandal paste is put on the dargah. Daily, one can hear the Nagara – beating of drums during the morning and evening time. This is a traditional way of calling the people to come and pray. For the caretakers, this is where their heart is and would continue to serve like their previous generations did. Sana Warsia, NMTV News.

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