Ghutiari Sharif ~ Melting pot of all Faiths
During the medieval period Islam started spreading roots into South Bengal. During that time South Bengal was an extension of the Sundarban and was infested with tigers, crocodiles and snakes making it one of the most inhospitable regions of the world. Several Pirs took up the initiative of spreading Islam in this inhospitable region. According to legends these Pirs possessed magical powers and communicated with the spirits of the jungle. Their special powers protected the woodcutters & honey – hunters, who ventured deep in the forest to earn a livelihood. Although followers of Islam most of this Pirs were secular in nature and were respected by people of all religion.
Pir Mobarak Gaji was one such Pir and his Majar at Ghutiari Sharif is visited by thousands of people of all faith. Popularly known as Gaji Baba Pir Mobarak Gaji, got the patronage of the Hindu king of Rajpur Raja Madan Roy. Madan Roy donated several acres of land to the Pir in Basnra region. Pir Mobarak Gaji’s grave is now located in Bansra region, near the rail head of Bansra. Bansra was renamed Ghutari Sharif in 1936 by Fazrul Haq.
Today Ghutiari Sharif is located 32 km from Kolkata on the Sealdah – Canning rail line. Just next to the station lies the Maja of the Pir and is approached by a narrow lane lined with shops selling coloured chadors (sheet of cloth) with Arabic inscriptions, aatar (perfume), beautifully calligraphy of inscription from Koran and different objects of worship.
Soon the white done of the Majar comes into view. The square structure housing the grave of the Pir is crowned with a dome, flanked on four corners by octagonal minars. The three stage minars are crowned with a finale and so is the dome. Both the dome and the minars are covered with floral mosaic design, giving it an elegant look. Sadly the structure is not well maintained. The mosaic has lost its luster and several portions have peeled off, in the process erasing out centuries of history.
The complex also contains a small mosque and several other religious structures and the office of Wakf board, responsible for the maintenance of the structure. But the main attraction of the complex is the circular pond called Mocca Pukur. The circular pond has four ghats, from where women make wish by dipping their palms in the water. According to legend a wish made out of the heart is bound to come true. This custom is followed by both Muslim & Hindu women.
According to the Bengali calender the death anniversary of Gaji Baba fall on 17 Shraban. Lakhs of all faiths are said to converge at Ghutiari Sharif on the occasion of death anniversary of the Pir. The Indian Railways runs special trains to accommodate the thousand of pilgrims who travel through the overcrowded narrow lanes to pay homage to Pir Mobark Gaji.
- Dakhin Chabis Pargana Jela r Purakirti by Sagar Chattopadhyay
List of my Blog entry on West Bengal