Monday, May 25, 2009
Nagore (Tamil Nadu): Over 100,000 devotees - both Hindus and Muslims - from the country and nine other nations Monday began the 14-day “Kandoori” festival marking the death anniversary of a 16th century Muslim Sufi saint here.
Pilgrims from all over India, the Middle East, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka began elaborate rituals of tonsuring their heads, and undertaking regular dips in the tank at the “dargah” (tomb) of Hazrat Syed Shahul Hameed Quadir Wali, believed to be the 23rd descendant of Prophet Mohammad.
The devotees believe that dips in the tank and praying at the shrine cures illnesses and brings prosperity.
The highlight of the festivities is a procession of the “Santhanakkoodu” (sandalwood icon), scheduled June 3.
Born in Allahabad, north India in the 16th century, Wali is said to have tended and cured the sick. He was allocated land here by Hindu king Achchuthappa Naicken in Thanjavur district, whose suffering he alleviated.
Wali’s body was buried here after he passed away at the age of 68 and the tomb, with a golden dome and four minarets, which is inspired by both Hindu and Muslim architectural traditions came up here.
Nagore is near Nagappattinam situated on the state’s eastern coast, some 300 km south of state capital Chennai.
Hundreds of pilgrims who perished during the 2004 tsunami are also buried here.
[Picture: The Dargah in Nagore]