Mulim dervishes on way to Ajmer Sharif perform daredevil acts

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Ajmer, June 14 (ANI): Hundreds of Muslim dervishes performed astonishing acrobatics to show their devotion to the Sufi saint Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti here on Monday.

The dervishes were on their way to the shrine of Khawaja Sahib to attend His annual Urs or, fair that observes his death anniversary.

The dervishes, generally known as 'Qalandars', come from various shrines across the country.

Before undertaking their journey to the shrine at Ajmer, they assemble at the shrine of Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki in Delhi.

According to legend, Kaki was the disciple and the spiritual successor of Moin-ud-Din Chishti as head of the Chishti order.

Every year, the dervishes carry a sacred symbol atop a stick to the Dargah (shrine) as a holy offering from a discipline to his master.

During the procession, the dervishes performed various tricks with "Chimta" or, the iron tongs, swords, needles and fire to show their devotion towards the saint.

"Devotees have come with this procession from every State of the country. Some are disciples, some devotees travel with earnest wishes in their hearts, and some are going to pay their gratitude to the saint. I am also coming to the shrine since 14 years, and whatever I have wished for from the 'Chari', a sacred symbol attached atop a stick. But my wish fulfilled even before I reached the dargah at Ajmer," said Safi Sabri, a Qalandar.

It is estimated that a million devotees from India and abroad visit the saint's shrine during the ceremony.

Chishti is believed to have born in 1142 AD. He preached tolerance and unity of all religions during his lifetime.

In 1236 AD, the saint entered his cell to pray in seclusion for six days, at the end of which he died. Since then Urs has been celebrated for six days every year.

In Ajmer, His tomb has become a shrine for millions of people.

It is believed that praying at the tomb of the saint fulfils a person's wishes. Devotees visiting the shrine offer fresh flowers as a symbol of their devotion. Some even offer large amounts of money and expensive jewels. By Kishore Solanki (ANI)

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