The beauty of sacred Shahdara Sharief Dargah is no less than the valleys of Kashmir. Throughout all the seasons, the dargah remains unparalleled and fascinating. During the spring, beautiful flowers spread their scent in all the directions, in summer greenery takes place all over, and in winters Snowy Mountain Peaks remain in the footsteps of Shahdara Sharief. Also, there resides a beautiful Legendary Orange tree that remains evergreen throughout the year and some believe that the tree was the result of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah’s anger.
About Shahdara Sharief
The Ziyarat Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah (R.A) Shahdara Sharief is located in the Rajouri district of J&K. Commonly known as Shahdara Sharief, is the shrine of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah. Thousands of people from every religion visit the Shrine every year. Every day nearly thousands of people eat Langar and Kashmiri tea is served to pilgrims all the time.
The Shrine is located in the Thanna Mandi area which is 29 km from Rajouri town. And it is nearly 177 km from Jammu City. Located at an altitude of 5807 feet it is surrounded by the beautiful Himalayan range of Pir Panjal Mountains. Shahdara Sharief is maintained by the State Aqua and is well maintained by the officials. Before the arrival of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah, the shrine was named Sein Dara. Sein means Loin and Dara mean the Maskin or abode.
History of Shahdara Sharief
Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah was also known as Sayed Ghulam Ali Shah Mashadi. His forefathers had origins in Mashad, Iran that’s why he was called Mashadi. His grandfather migrated from Iran and settled in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Once his father, Sayed Idrees Shah took him to a Saint, and when Saint saw him he smiled and said, he will become a great Wali (Saint) of his time. The Saint also predicted that he will change the (SEIN-DARA) place of lions into Shahdara Sharief and will migrate from Rawalpindi soon and will reside in the mountains of Kashmir.
After a few days, Baba left his village and went to his guide Sayed Hazrat Latief Hussain who lived in the village Noorpur Shahan. Baba stayed there for 2 years and one day his guide told him that he had a dream. But his guide did not disclose the dream but gave him hints that would help him find his path. He was given hints like there will be a thick forest and there would be lions in the forest. And told him to leave a goat there and the lion will come and make seven rounds and take away the goat. He was also told to cut the trees, then dig and fire would emerge and that place would be called SeinDara which later the Shrine of Baba called Shahdara Sharief.
Then he was told by his guide to march towards the Rajouri district where he would find a place called SeinDara. Then after passing through several villages, he was about to reach the forests of SeinDara so he took a goat with him. So when he was passing through the dense forest, he saw one lion there so Baba left the goat according to his guide’s instruction. So exactly what he was told came true. Lion took 7 rounds and both the goat and lion disappeared.
Baba Sahib started digging the place for nearly 5 days and where finally he saw the fire he exclaimed with joy and said, “Alhamd o Lillah” he had reached his place. Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah asked his men to cut down trees of the forest in order to start langar. And that was known as Sharda Sharief.
Then he stayed for nearly 41 years at Shahdara Sharief during the years 1765 to 1806 and mediated there. In the year, 1806 he left for his heavenly abode. It is believed that Baba Sahib got constructed the Maqbra (Tomb) during his lifetime from a craftsman who lived in Multan. The craftsman had a dream and he saw Baba Sahib in his dream and was told to reach Shahdara Sharief. Craftsman followed the dream and reached the Shahdara Sharief and completed the construction of the tomb in the year 1804.
Miracles and Predictions
During his lifetime, Baba Sahib performed a lot of miracles and made a lot of predictions. Some of the predictions include that he told Maharaja Gulab Singh of J&K about the success he will have in his life and also performed a lot of miracles such as once he was very angry and caused an earthquake in the region and villagers begged him to calm down.
- The First Miracle: When Baba Sahib was very young he was sent by his father to graze the goats as his brother was not available that day. So he went with his goats and as goats were grazing he slept for some time. While he was sleeping, in the meantime his goats ate the standing crops of a farmer. When he awoke he started collecting his goats and made his way home back with them. When the farmer came to know about the loss he wasn’t happy and made a complaint to his father and even threatened to sue them. So Baba Sahib’s father wasn’t happy with him and asked him about the incident. But Baba Sahib said there was no loss but the farmer didn’t agree. So they decided to go the site, and Baba Sahib was right. There were no loss and the crops were in a good position. This incident made him popular.
- Challenged Magician & Caused Heavy Rain: There was a Yogi or Magician at a place named Swarn-Kot who levied regular taxes on the villagers and threatened them if they did not pay their taxes there would be no rainfall and crops would destroy. So Baba Sahib opposed him and the yogi challenged him for a competition. But Baba Sahib didn’t accept the challenge and planned to teach him a lesson. He prayed and it rained heavily and resulted in good crop yield at that time.
- Caused A Earthquake: In that era, there was a ruler in Poonch named Rustam Khan who was a devotee of Baba Sahib. Also, the nephew of Rustam Khan was a devotee. His name was Yahya Khan. Some of the court members told Rustam Khan that Yahya Khan wanted to murder him so he can become his successor. So he ordered to kill his nephew and the soldiers killed him. Baba Sahib got visual of that happening in mind. He exclaimed. “Yahya! Kill! Yahya! Kill. Baba Sahib became so angry that he said I will turn Poonch upside down and caused an earthquake in the region. So people begged him to calm down and then became cool.
- Evergreen Orange Tree: At Sharda Sharief, there is a legendary evergreen orange tree that has oranges throughout the year. There is an interesting story related to the orange tree. One is simply that Baba Sahib brought the sapling of the tree but another one is quite interesting. According to another story, it is believed that once Baba Sahib was sitting close to a burning fire and a piece of wood was not burning. So Baba Sahib became angry and threw that unburned piece of wood and said if you can’t burn then keep on fruiting. And that Evergreen orange tree was a result of that anger. The tree bears oranges throughout the year and is not affected by the change in season. It is believed that oranges do not rot for years and is bitter in taste
- Predicted Future of Maharaja Gulab Singh: Once Gulab Singh was campaigning in the nearby region and had listened to Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah. So he decided to meet Baba Sahib when he reached the Dargah Baba Sahib smiled at Gulab Singh. When he asked Baba Sahib why he was smiling he told him that he was laughing at his prosperous future. Then Baba Sahib asked him to go to the top of the hill and look around. Baba Sahib told him that whichever places he can see today will be under his kingdom one day. Gulab Singh was happy and asked for taking some land from him but Baba Sahib said give me only the land of Shahdara Sharief. After few years, when predictions came true and Gulab Singh became Maharaja of State he came to Shahdara Sharief to show his gratitude to Baba Sahib but until then Baba Sahib had left for holy abode. So Gulab Singh as a mark of respect he built a shrine there.
- Cursed A Ruler: When Baba Sahib reached his destination as guided by his guide he ordered his men to cut down forests. When the ruler of the area came to know about this he ordered his soldiers to bring Baba Sahib to him. When he was presented in the court he grew angry and cursed that his progeny wouldn’t last any longer. Soon rulers both sons died and after some time the ruler also died. So Queen went to Baba Sahib and asked him to take back the curse and forgive his husband. So Baba Sahib took his curse back and said you will bear a son soon.
How To Reach Shahdara Sharief
- By Air: The nearest airport to Shahdara Sharief is the Srinagar airport which is about 168 KM and Jammu airport is nearly about 177 KM.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Shahdara Sharief is the Jammu railway station which is nearly about 177 KM.
- By Road: You can hire taxis and buses from the airport or railway station to Rajouri. There are also road transportation services available from Shahdara Sharief. There are buses and taxis from the Thanna Mandi to other districts.
Facilities At Shahdara Sharief
- Langar: A langar is available to pilgrims everyday which can serve 3000/4000 people daily. Kashmiri tea is also served 24*7. The langar is available at Ziyarat Sharief.
- Accommodation: Nearabout 800 beds are available for accommodation. Also, there are Guesthouse and dormitories which you can book online through their website at here.
- Medical Facility: A Medical Health Centre is available in Ziyarat Sharief 24*7 and also medicines are made available to the people suffering from small ailments, and if there is an emergency.
Shahdara Sharief Video