Dargah of Manakpur Sharif - a hidden gem in rural Punjab, India

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During the partition of Punjab of 1947 when India attained it's independence, there was mass migration of people across the sudden man-made border which divided families, friends, lovers and also uprooted people from their ancestral land. One such pind in Punjab is Manakpur Shreef which saw a large number of Muslims move to newly formed Pakistan. However, not everyone moved and their legacy in their pind stayed on.

This is the story of Dargah of Sharif Hazrat Hafiz Muhammad Moosa Chishti Saabri - an iconic dragah much loved by all communities which now make the village.

dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Exquisite work on the ceiling of the Manakpur Sharif Dargah
dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Dargah of Manakpur Sharif
dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Details at the gate of the Manakpur Sharif

My visit to this dargah was purely by chance, and was quite unforgettable mainly because I was completely smitten by the beauty of this place in the middle of practically nowhere. After a long day out in the sun and exploring the village markets of Punjab, I was tired and willing to go back to my hotel and crash. In the morning I has asked my companions if there was an old place around, and this is when he remembered to tell me about this place. I knew I would probably never return to this part of the country ever again, so immediately agreed to visit an old dargah.



History of the Dargah

Let me give a brief overview of Hazrat Hafiz Muhammad Moosa to better understand and appreciate the place. From a very young age he was deeply inspired by the divine and spent years alone in the forests meditating and learning. Once he came back to his village his master was pleased by him and he was given the privilege to start his own khanqah, which is basically a designated house of Sufis. Later he settled at Manakpur and this is where the present day dargah is also located.

dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Entrance gate form inside
dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Caretaker to the dargah

How to reach dargah of Manakpur Shreef

The dargah is located at a distance of about 40km from Chandigarh and is actually easily reachable by road. The road that you take off from the highway isn't great, but not too bad either. As you enter the mazaar, the first thing that strikes you is the majestic gate, which in itself isn't a common feature in a mazaar.

Inside there is the main dargah, and a prominent mosque. Each of those are beautifully decorated, especially the mosque. Spend some time praying and meditating at the dargah, and maybe also speak to the caretaker there, he can tell you lots of stories and anecdotes from the time of Hazrat Hafiz Muhammad Moosa.

One of the best time of the year is to visit the dargah during the annual Urs when festivities grip the town and thousands of people from across the region throng to Manakpur Sharif. There is soulful sufi music as well as great vibes of Punjab which can be experienced then. I missed the Urs but was strongly recommended to come visit again just for that.

dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Mosque at the dargah
dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Work on the walls
dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Another view at the entrance of the mosque

The dargah is also a great example of the unity of all faiths that exist in the region. It's auspicious to everyone and is also open to all to come and pray. It's so wonderfully peaceful that it doesn't really matter what faith you follow, it's easy to make the connect with our creator. Such places work great for travellers like me who are fascinated by all religions and happy to explore new things wherever they go.

dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Catching up with the locals in the dargah
dargah manakpur shareef punjab india photo
Beautiful work on the being of the mosque 
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9 comments:

  1. Nice article .... writing skill is awesome ... keep it up!! :) :)

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  2. Gorgeous place! I love such hidden gems. Absolutely loved the 1st photo. Thank you for sharing this. :)

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  3. Man look at its construction! It is beautiful ... Thank You for sharing the history. I am a History student

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  4. Looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing this, Sid.

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  5. May God bless u for sharing this information

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  6. May God bless u for sharing this information

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  7. Thank you, we are trying to collate the information about this Khanqah and Sufi Saint and trying to get the book published. I am from His Sufi Order, my forefathers were used to live in Kharar and my grandfather used to talk about this shrine. Kindly allow us to use the pictures with your name.

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  8. It is really divine from inside where there is the kabr of peer baba ...and the great thing is that i live in this village ...manakpur sharif

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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