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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.