Mumbai : The Haji Ali Dargah Trust, which manages the five-century-old Haji Ali shrine in the Arabian Sea off Worli, will complete 100 years on Saturday (February 20) and a host of celebrations are planned to commemorate the centenary, an trust official said.
The CM will be laying the foundation stone for the restoration and refurbishment of the Dargah premises, while a Sufi qawwali programme by the world-renowned qawwali singers, Fanna-Fi Allah from California and other events are planned, said trustee Suhail Khandwani.
The Fanna-Fi Allah party is currently on a three week long tour of India and has lined up qawwali concerts in New Delhi, Bhopal, three concerts in Mumbai, one at the Guru Ravidas Jayanti in Jalandhar, at the World Sufi Spirit Festival in Jodhpur and rounding off with a show in Srinagar on February 28.
Revered by followers of all religions, the Haji Ali Dargah is ranked among the top and most photographed tourist landmarks of Mumbai, resting on rocks around 500 yards from the Mumbai seashore off Worli. It is approachable only during low tides from a narrow windy stony lane connecting it to the shore. The original structure was erected on high rising rocks and attained its present shape in the early 19th century after the Haji Ali Dargah Trust was formed on February 20, 1916, Khandwani said.
Housing the tomb of Muslim saint, the Iranian-born Pir Haji Ali Shah Bikhari, and a mosque, it is extremely popular with locals, domestic and foreign tourists round the year.
The tomb has white domes and minarets, typical of the Mughal architecture of that era and attracts around 20,000 devotees and tourists of all religions daily, with the figures jumping to nearly double on Thursdays, Friday and Sundays. During major Muslim festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, millions swoop to pray at the tomb and the pathway, dargah complex and the main promenade see a sea of humanity. IANS
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