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In this non-Muslim village, Hindus preserve a 200-year old dargah | Rajkot News


SAVARKUNDLA (AMRELI): Weddings and extensive rituals go hand in hand. But in Khadasali village, 30 km from Savarkundla in Amreli district, religious beliefs take a step beyond. Here, no vows are exchanged — be it a Hindu wedding or a Muslim one — without first paying obeisance at the Peer Baba dargah.

And, so it’s no surprise seeing SRP jawan Mahesh Bagda religiously doing the rounds of the dargah for the past 10 days praying for a ‘happily ever after’ wedding and bright career. Bagda is set to tie the knots on Thursday.

This is a tradition that has no exception and brides and grooms not only from Khadasali but also from nearby villages make a beeline to the dargah before embarking on their conjugal journey. In fact, the dargah plays a crucial role on all auspicious work. Locals do not initiate any work without praying at the dargah.

So, why is Khadasali dargah different, when Hindus visiting dargahs is not an uncommon practice?

Peer Baba dargah stands tall in a village comprising 1,500 people, which doesn’t have a single member from the Muslim community. That’s the difference. Patels and Brahmins have been preserving this shrine, praying here regularly for nearly 200 years now.

Khadasali truly shines as example of communal amity especially amid the acrimonious politics over the destruction of shrines and religious intolerance.

“This dargah is as old as our 200-year-old village. Forget razing it, Patels, Brahmins and people other castes ensure that it is well maintained. Villagers’ faith in the dargah keeps it alive,” said Chetan Malani, young sarpanch of Khadasali. Interestingly, the village also houses around 10 temples of various gods and community deities.

Bharat Dagal, who got married on Tuesday, said, “We belonging to the Rabari community, but our family went there to seek blessings at the dargah before my marriage. We have immense faith in Peer Bapa.”

Each believer to his own: During Navrati and Chaitri Navratri, Hindu devotees distribute sweets only after offering naivedya (food offering for god) at this tomb. Farmers start sowing only after praying to Peer Baba for a bountiful harvest,” said Malani.

Around eight years ago when the villagers decided to give the dargah a facelift, local social worker Nalini Bhatt funded the tomb’s reconstruction, while the family of late Kanubhai Vaghadiya, a Patel, funded the construction of its boundary walls.

“All villagers helped rebuild the dargah through community service,” Malani added.

Original source