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Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Horse's Grave in India: GhoRay ki Mazaar, Guess Where?

The horse's grave in Hyderabad, Deccan
Have you heard about this grave? The mazaar of the horse is not too well-known but once in a while one does hear about it from somewhere.

Though such graves are not common but I have seen the graves of elephants and heard about mazaars of parrots and cats in the past. Still, this one is slightly different.

Here the grave has the horse-shape structure [termed ghoDaa or ghoRaa] built in the midst of the mazaar. At many places where Sufi saints passed way, the local residents also built the mazaar of their pet animals when they later died.

But they are plane platforms with no image. This one is clearly an idol and may raise the heckles of those who fume at the sight of even the dargaahs and mazaars of genuine saints, let alone a mere animal!

When even the normals mazaars are being considered symbols of idolatry by a growing number of Muslims, what will remain of a poor horse. Interestingly, the mazaar is painted green and has a Muslim-ness around it, unlike the Hindu samadhi.

A local resident tells me that this particular horse was a buzurg [perhaps he meant saintly]. Another person said that it was a saint's horse which died here and was laid to rest but couldn't tell anything about the saint. May be I need to do more research.

Whatever. Someone does the upkeep and the flags that aflutter don't appear too old. Must be someone cleans the premises also on a regular basis. These are all examples of the unique cultural and religious fusion of Hinduism, Islam and local faith, and almost in every city you find something that represents neither of the religion or has ingredient of both of them.


Trendsetters said...

missed your articles...nice finish

Anonymous said...

Another interesting piece! Which city is this? Looks like Hyd. I live in Hyderabad, and have visited a few shrines of Sufi saints.

I have a question for you.

It is true that mazaars and darghas are increasingly finding less favour among a growing number of Muslims. But the shrines I visited in Hyderabad have a lot of Muslims visiting them. It in fact seemed that most visitors at the dargahs are Muslims. Can you tell something about this dichotomy? It is strange.

Best wishes,

indscribe said...

@ Trendsetters: Thank you.

@ Anjali ji: Sorry for delayed response. Yes, you are right. Regarding your query, it's a bit longish reply.

In short, as upper or upper middle class that is educated and connected to Gulf wants to shun practices that are in conflict with monatheism.

But then poor Muslims have faith in saints, miracles and in their powers of intercession.

Though it's not just about poor and rich or educated and uneducated. It's difficult to differentiate.

On one hand a section of Muslims, termed Wahabi, find the practice of going to mazaars as un-Islamic and idolatory, there are Muslims who simply go for fatiha or prayers, and don't do sajda that is idolatory.

In fact, some Wahabis also go to a few select shrines. So there are delicate differences, degrees of devotion and often it may appear Us Vs Them sort of thing, the fact is that in all religions and societies, there are differences of opinions and so is the case with Indian Muslims (or Muslims of sub-continent).

Laeeq said...

Great work. Keep it up :)

دندنة قيثارة الوجد said...

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

أنا من مكة المكرمة .. ولكن لا أعرف غير لغتي الأم

أحببت أن ألقي التحية عليكم

وفقكم الله

mani said...

Wow! Nice Information...Thanks for sharing. If you want to know about Islam in advance here's my Islamic blog www.trueislammeaning.muslimblogs.com at MuslimBlogs.com

Thanks again

Anonymous said...

This is most likely from Hyderabad. There is an area called ghode ki khabar.

Pink.Siddiqui said...

I happened to see this place yesterday and got curious. I found this article!!

It looked so creepy at night!!!

Anonymous said...

Jaahilat wali bat h ghode ki mazar hona