Wednesday, November 7, 2012



This is the shrine of Aish Muqam. 76 kms from srinagar on Pahalgham Road . Reverse it is 20 kms from Pahalgham.The shrine is located inside a deep cave on a Hilltop.

(Inner view of the cave at the source Ravinder kumar Koul )

 As per my rough calculations , the shrine must be about 110 metres above the main road . One has to go up through well laid out steps .My friends sukhbir singh Chib ( Sukhi ) and sudesh Sharma joined me in visiting this shrine .The Devotees coming down the staircase would say " Assalam Wallequm ". we would say "Walle Qum Assllaam ". I remenmber that devotees coming down Trikuta hills would say "Jai Matta Di" to persons going up the shrine of  Mata Vaishno Devi Ji ( Katra Jammu ). Happy people coming down always encourage those going up. Beautiful both ways .
                                                 (Old photograph of Aishmuqam Ziarat)

We stayed in the outer compound of the shrine for some time . The views below were captivating . River Lidder dancing down in a serpentine path . Hiding and emerging from clusters of green willow trees .The trees , Fresh air , Greenery and birds transport you to a different world.Groups of people from nearby villages sat in this spacious compound . Some families had also come from Anantnag and Banihal. I saw many offering Namaaz oblivious of what was going around .

We went inside the cave .The incense burnt outside the cave as well as inside it created a pleasing ambience . Inside the cave ,the Mutwali or the Peer sahib sought peace for our ancesstors . He wished prosperity to all humans . He gave us his blessings . we were given some sacred oil in a bottle and some sugar candy grains.  Genuinely  religious people from any faith always seek  blessings from almighty not only for themselves but for the entire mankind .

The shrine is actually the shrine of Sheikh Zain Ud din Wali a disciple of Sheikh ul Aalam ( Nund reshi ).The real name of Sheikh Zain Ud Din was Zia singh and he belonged to a royal Rajput family of Kishtwar .He came to kashmir in 15th centuary to seek spiritual guidance from shiekh Ul Aalam .Sheikh Zain ud din was locally known as BAB( Father in kashmiri ). Sacred Relics of Bab are preserved in the shrine .Every year in the month of April one Week festival is held in the shrine on the annual URS of the saint. A Torchlight procession is held in the evenings during this festival . This torch light procession is locally known as ZOOL( Illumination ).Pieces of LESHI( Wood full of inflammable material ) wood are tied to long sticks and burnt . Once the Leshi pieces burn , even rains can not douse the flames . It is a treat to see the ZOOL festivity in Aishmuqam shrine. During this period , Villagers keep burning earthen oil lamps at their Doorsteps. Young boys too are keeping this tradition alive at  Aishmuqam Ziyarat.

Saint Zain Ud Din or Zain Shah or Bab is believed to have meditated inside the cave of present Ziyarat where his Mausoleum is located presently. Pilgrims have to move in a queue to go inside the cave that can accommodate maximum of eight persons at a time.
(  (Leshi  Zool or Illumination  by  Burning Oily and inflammable  Timber  pieces .Devotees Marching with Burning Mashaals on the Hill Track to the Ziyarat  )

 Enjoy these views with some lines from a poem of Prof waseem Barelavi .

Mujhe Bujhaa De, Mera Dard mukhtasar kar De
Magar Diye ki Tarah Mujh ko mo’atbar kar De
Meri Talaash ko be-naam-o-be-safar kar de
Mein Teraa Raastaa chhoruun to Dar-ba-Dar kar De
judaaiiyon ki ye Raatein to kaatnee Hongee
kahaaniyon ko ko’i kaise mukhtasar kar De
( Prof. Waseem Barelavi )

( Photos  and Text By Autar Mota ... Srinagar  7.11.2012 ... Time 11.25 PM Good Night )

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome autar sahib. Thx for posting. U r blessed soul.


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