Water Pilgrimage – The Haji Ali Dargah at Worli

Situated on the coast of Mumbai alongside Worli is a beautiful monument in the centre of the majestic Arabian Sea. With the best kind of Islamic architectural elegance and the lovely legends and tales that dominate it, the Worli Haji ali Dargah is the most famous pilgrim spot for all Muslims. It has the tomb of the great Saint Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.

Believed to have been constructed in the year 1431 in memory of Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari who was a very rich merchant and then decided to give up all worldly possessions before he took the holy trip to Mecca. He came from Bukhara in the Persian region and now in present day Uzbekistan. He settled in Mumbai and it is said that the saint once saw a very tearful woman and when he asked her why she was crying and what was the vessel in here hand, she said that her husband was a wife beater and had thrown her out because she spilt some oil. Haji Ali took here to a spot where she had lost the oil and he poked a finger there on that place and voila oil gushed out. The woman very happy took oil in her vessel and went home. Such tales are oft told about this great saint.

The saint often had a dream that he had hurt Earth by poking his finger into earth and had expressed a desire to be buried in the waters and not on earth. That is the reason we find the mosque in the middle of the waters today.

More than 40,000 pilgrims visit the Worli Haji ali Dargah every day and it is a monument of faith and peace. On Fridays you could hear Sufi music here sometimes and also some devotional songs.

The Dargah Sharief is built over a small islet that is located around 500 m from the main coast. It is a brilliant representation of the Indo Islam architectural intelligence. It is linked to the city with the help of a very narrow causeway which is nearly more than a kilometer long. If it is high tide then it is difficult to to the Dargah. This walk up the middle pathway on the sea is a great experience and the attraction for many to come to the Dargah.

The structure is spread over an area of 4,500 square meters and has a 85 foot high tower as the main edifice of the whole structure. The entrance is filled with lovely sculptures and the courtyard here has the main shrine of Haji Ali. There is a tomb within the mosque and is heavily covered with lovely rich clothes. The marble pillars on the hall with lovely kaleidoscopic pattern are a great feast for the eyes. There are many patterns of the Arabic style and the lovely mirror work of various colors of blue, yellow glass chips are a great feast for the pilgrim’s eye.

A visit to the Haji Ali Dargah at Worli sure is a great way to get spiritually closer to your own self.