Monday, 25 June 2012

Travelogue TN: Day 3 - Nagore Andavar

Nagore Andavar

Nagore Dargah along with the Ajmer Dargah, are the two most famous of Muslim saint Samadhis in India. Probably apart from the Mecca Madina Hajj which Muslims consider the holiest in their life, these are the two places in South Asia which probably most of the faithful want to come and have their prayers done.

It helped that the shrine was on the way from Nagapattinam to Chidambaram and accordingly we had planned for the same. The main road at the shrine is so congested that we had to get down there and walk back by which time the vehicles would get parked some where else.

Until we got out of the vehicles and started walking towards the shrine, my father did not know that we were going to Nagore. He in fact asked me where were we? He also remarked that it would have been nice if we had visited Nagore since it was reputed to be in this route. Naturally he was so excited when I said we are in front of the ‘Andavar’ himself, that he started walking briskly towards the dargah and started to explain the greatness of this shrine.

While we entered the inside, two persons wearing their topies came to us and said. “Welcome, you may wash your feet in the pipes over there (on the sides) and please do come in after this”. With our Prasadams on our fore heads and the ladies not looking like any typical ones entering in a dargah, they would have identified us straight away as some one not used to frequenting the place. However I understand that the dargah is used to visits by all kind of religious people at all times. We could see a variety of people quite different in looks and cultural dressing that we understood that we are only one among the varieties of cultures visiting the holy place.

Soon after we were taken in to the abode amid a frantic chaos of men, women and children of all ages. Only men were allowed to go inside the shrine of his resting place. Ladies were able to see this from outside. Inside we were made to sit aside for some time. But however for the first visit, this was a good guidance. Then we had a chance to go inside and pay our respects to the great saint that he is.

The dargah had a lot of other resting bodies covered as well. One of the other frequented ones were his sons’ near the entrance door itself. We also got to know that a great festival was about to start the next day at the dargah. What a time to visit when the festivities were just about to start.

The great person – The ‘Andavar’ as he is referred to by many knowledgeable men across the spectrum, holds a very important and pre eminent position among the saints of India. The question about religion does not arise here. Sadly a lot of references now a day talk about the so called ‘secular’ aspects and all things, which is so very inferior to the spiritual position and the respect he commands among the Jnanis. As is often described, howsoever a Jnani appears or does not appear in the public eye, only to those whom he himself approves, does he reveal himself – And what a revelation it turns out to be…….!!!! – ‘Anirvachaniyam, Avachaniyam, Anandam’

One of the books written by my uncle describes his glory and is available in Malayalam.

Quite filled with emotion and a unique sense of peace, we proceeded to Chidambaram to have the night stay.

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