Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai is one of the most popular religious places visited by people of all religions alike. It is the most prestigious landmarks which are situated about 500 yards from the Mumbai shoreline in the middle of the Arabian Sea off Lala Lajpatrai Marg.
Video - In and Around Haji Ali Dargah
Who build it and when
The structure of Haji Ali Dargah was erected on a set of high rising rocks and was given its present day shape in the early 19th century after the Trust was legally formed as an entity in 1916. Haji Ali Dargah is the complex which houses the tomb of the Muslim Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. Along with the famous tomb, there is also a Masjid at Haji Ali. This monument has been sentinel to the shores of Mumbai since a long time.
Haji Ali is a venerated tomb (dargah) of the Muslims. It also makes the most popular landmark of Bombay. In 1431, the mosque was built by Haji Ali - a rich Muslim merchant, who gave up all worldly charms before going to the pilgrimage of Mecca.
Significance of the temple
According to legends, Haji Ali left this world during his journey to Mecca and a coffer that was carrying his body hovered back to Mumbai. Other stories reveal that the great saint drowned at the place, where the mosque stands at present. On Thursdays and Fridays, the shrine is visited by at least 40,000 pilgrims. Irrespective of the faith and religion, people here visit the 'dargah' to get the blessings of the legendary saint.
The edifice here at the Dargah has been a brilliant specimen of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. Built on a small island, the mosque is sited about 500 yards from the shoreline, in the middle of Worli Bay. This island is connected to the Mahalakshmi area by a narrow walkway, which is not even constrained by railings and is prone to sea waters during high-tide. Consequently, you can reach the mosque only during low-tides.
The walkway, offering 500-yard-walk, is the highlight of this expedition, where the touch of cool waters and pleasing breeze altogether will make this a divine experience. Sprawling in an area of 4,500 meters, Haji Ali Dargah has a tomb that is always covered with a brocaded red and green sheet, supported by a delicate silver frame. The marble pillars inside the Dargah’s main hall are decorated with multihued mirrors and embrace the ninety-nine names of Allah.
The structure of the Dargah has white domes and minarets reminiscent with the Mughal architecture of the period. The Dargah is a renowned pilgrimage site among the Muslims. Even Non-Muslims are also allowed to visit the Dargah.
The white-coloured structure of the Dargah attracts visitors in large numbers. About 10 - 15 thousand people visit the Dargah daily. The number of visitors usually increases to 20 to 30 thousand on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Lakhs of devotees visit the Dargah on the second day of Ramadhan Eid and Bakri Eid during which the pathway leading to the Dargah Complex looks like a Sea of Humanity.
People from all over the world without restrictions of caste, creed and religion visit the Dargah to offer their prayers and for the fulfillment of their wishes by the blessings of the Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. Some pray for wealth, others for health, children, marriages, etc. They have their wishes being granted at all the times. The sheer locale of Haji Ali Mosque attract a host of tourists who flock in to marvel the exquisite architecture bobbing in the middle of blue ocean presenting a surreal impression.
Haji Ali is believed to have been a wealthy merchant who renounced all this riches after his pilgrimage to Mecca. Legends have it that he got drowned and died at a place where today his dargah stands. Another belief is that Haji Ali died during his pilgrimage to Mecca in early nineties and the casket carrying his body floated back, coming to a rest near the rockbed on the sea at Mumbai, where his devotees built the dargah.
Built on a picturesque locale amidst the Sea, Haji Ali Mosque is a brilliantly white washed structure occupying an area of 4,500 mts with a single minaret rising to 85 feet which adds grandeur to the architecture. Behind an intricately sculptured entrance one can view marble courtyard housing the central shrine. A sea of devotees kiss the richly brocaded red and green chaddar that cover the tomb.
How to reach the Temple
One who is interested to visit the place can reach the mosque only during the low tide since the tenuous strip of connecting causeway is submerged during the high tide and Monsoon.
Sprawling amidst the surging sea, Haji Ali Mosque is an ideal spot to catch a cool breeze away form the chaos of the city.
One can visit the place experiencing the cool courtyard and from refreshment stalls you can look forward to cooling your heels.