Shrine of a Muslim saint binds communities in Shimla

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Shimla, Sept 13 : The shrine of the Hazarat Salotri Baba in Himachal Pradesh has been a congregation point for different communities cutting across caste and creed barriers. Situated in Shimla, the shrine is thronged by followers from almost every religion in the country.

Despite the shrine being a Muslim worship place, it is run by an organization formed by Hindu community members. Not only Muslims, but Hindu devotees too pray at the shrine.

"I have been visiting this shrine for the last ten years and all of my wishes have been fulfilled. This shrine belongs to Muslims and is managed by them, but this fact hardly matters for a Hindu like me," said Lata Thakur, a Hindu devotee. The revered shrine, with its peculiar blend of Muslim and Hindu architectural features like bulbous domes, slender minarets topped with 'Kalash', has been a popular place of worship for the people of the region.

"In this mausoleum, Hindus and Muslims throng with same zeal. They are full of love and respect for others. They have been coming here since long ago," said Mumtaz Ahmad Kasmi, a Muslim priest.

Sharing his experience about the shrine, Manoj, a Hindu devotee said, "Since its inception, the mausoleum has played an important role in the unity between the Hindu and the Muslim communities."

Many such shrines are an outcome of Sufism, which was a reform movement of the 16th century against orthodox Hinduism and Islam. It believed in mysticism and preached the worship of God through devotional singing. By Hemant Chauhan

ANI

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