Amidst the gigantic Arabian sea stands the sacred Haji Ali Dargah on a small offshore inlet in Mumbai. This strikingly beautiful Indo- Islamic shrine was made in the 19th century and features the tomb of a Muslim saint, Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. According to the mythological facts, the Haji Ali died while on a pilgrimage to Mecca and his casket miraculously floated back to this spot. To reach the main shrine, tourists will have to cross a zig zag causeway, lined up with many people singing Qawwali and devotional songs and shops selling Chadars. For the lovers of music, Haji Ali Dargah is a must visit, especially on Thursday and Friday.
The iconic landmark of Mumbai, Haji Ali Dargah is located on a tiny islet in the middle of the Arabian Sea, off the shores of Worli. Haji Ali Dargah is one of the finest examples of Indo- Islamic architecture, so as to reach here, tourists will have to cross a 500 m long causeway. The dargah complex is sprawling over an area of 5000 sq m and consists of three main structures - a dargah, mosque, and sanatorium. The reason behind the dargah is that it houses the tombstone of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.) – a revered Muslim saint, who believed to have some miraculous powers. Every year, the shrine witnesses footfall of devotees from all the walks of life.
The design of the dargah is quite simple yet iconic; it stands tall on a platform with white minarets and a large temple covering the entrance. The tomb has arched frames, exquisite mirror work, and a silver crown. There are three main halls that lead to the main dargah; out of these three, one is reserved exclusively for women. Although this dargah is more than 500 years old, its present structure was build between 1960 and 1964.
Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in the memory of a wealthy merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who used to reside in Uzbekistan and then one day he decided to get rid of all the luxuries and eventually settle in Mumbai. Legends even say that Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari used to have such miraculous powers that he could spill out oil from the earth with a finger. And that's the reason why he was regarded as a saint and was widely followed and worshiped. But then one day, he dreamed that by doing all this work, he is hampering earth. Full of remorse, he soon fell ill and directed his followers to cast the coffin carrying his body into the Arabian Sea.
But then one day, he dreamed that by doing all this work, he is hampering earth. Full of remorse, he soon fell ill and directed his followers to cast the coffin carrying his body into the Arabian Sea. It is said that Haji Ali died during his journey to Mecca and the casket carrying the body, floated back to shores of Worli. Haji Ali always wanted his shrouds to be immersed in water rather than being buried underground. His followers obeyed the wish and constructed a tomb at the spot where his shroud rested after floating in the sea.
If planning a visit to the dargah, please check about the movement of tides. As the causeway that leads to the main dargah remains closed whenever there is a high tide. Also, if the sound of some qawwali soothes your soul then don't just miss the Sufi musicians perform that happens on every Thursday and Friday.
Dargah Ziyarat Timings 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Best Time to Visit
Be it to seek blessings of god or to marvel its spectacular beauty, people from all walks of life loves to visit Haji Ali Dargah. The dargah attracts a good crowd on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays because it is considered as auspicious. Further, the dargah remains crowded with tourists on Ramadhan Eid, Urs and Bakri Eid (Eid-ul-Uzha).
Other Places to Visit in and around
Located on an islet off the coast of Worli in South Mumbai, Haji Ali Dargah is a prominent landmark of Maharashtra. When on a trip to Mumbai, make a point to cover following attractions:
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park
- Kanheri caves
- Dadar Market
- Haji Ali Dargah
- Gateway of India
- Girgaum Chowpatty
- Elephanta Caves
- Mahalakshmi Temple
- Jehangir Art Gallery