Haji Ali Dargah: An Iconic Mosque of Faith Set against the Arabian Sea

If you are visiting Mumbai, there are a few things that should be in the bucket list. Make sure to visit a few good restaurants in Mumbai. The food in the city is amazing. Also, visit a few iconic places. One such destination is the Haji Ali Dargah.

Haji Ali Dargah is one of the best places in Mumbai. The shrine was consecrated in 1431 and is associated with Sayyed Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a wealthy merchant from Bukhara (Uzbekistan). However, he became religious and abandoned all his wealth and headed out for a pilgrimage to Mecca. His journey had an impact on his life. He went around the world before settling down in Mumbai.

There are rumors that the holy man once saw a woman wailing because she had accidentally spilled some oil. With his mystical powers, he poked his finger on the soil where the oil had spilt and it oozed out from there and went back in the woman’s oil vessel. Such tales made him a legend in the eyes of the commoners.

However, he always reckoned that his actions had injured the earth. This filled him with remorse and guilt, which affected his health as well. Subsequently, he decided to travel to India. As he set foot on the Mumbai shore, he decided to make it his home and preach Islam to the natives.

Even after his death, the legends still surround him. According to many, the saint had asked his followers not to bury him but to throw his coffin in the ocean and bury it on the very spot where the coffin was found. Following his instructions, his followers threw the coffin in the ocean which finally came to rest in Worli. In that very spot, the dargah and the saint’s tomb were built. Today, the tomb is of religious significance and attracts pilgrims from various parts of the country.

Given the time it was built, the dargah had worn down which is why it was renovated again in the 20th century. This led to the addition of several new structures. The pathway leading to the dargah was built later and there are sections that were replaced. As the country started developing a more progressive mindset, women are allowed to enter the shrine since November 2016.

This is a 700-year old dargah standing tall and depicting Indo-Islamic architectural style. Located 500 meters from the coast on an island, the dargah is connected to the mainland through a long and narrow causeway. During high tide, the causeway stays submerged in water and reaching the dargah becomes impossible.

The dargah covers nearly 4,500 sq. meters and is 85 feet tall. White marbles are used to build the main structure and courtyard of the shrine. In the center, there is a massive dome, surrounded by four small spires in the four corners. Inside the shrine, quietly rests the tomb of the saint that remains covered with a green and red brocade sheet or chaddar. Colored glasses are used for augmenting the marble pillars that are inside the main hall of the shrine on which ninety-nine names of Allah are carved.

Now that you have made up your mind to visit this dargah, why not explore some good Chinese restaurants in Mumbai to satiate your cravings.