Bandar Zira - A sacred place of peace and harmony

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 15 Apr 2018 10:08:34


By Rajendra Diwe,

The annual urs at the dargah of Sayeed Siddiqui Shah Reh Aliah started from April 14

Bandar Zira is a beautiful picturesque place located near Ambagadh fort in Tumsar tehsil of Bhandara district. It has a tomb and number of trees around with monkeys on it and a small stream and a tank in which water gets collected. A dargah situated at the place is a tomb of Sayeed Siddiqui Shah Reh Aliah a famous sufi saint. The dargah is one of the holiest places of worship in Bhandara district. Like Baba Tajuddin Dargah in Nagpur, people from different faiths, religions, castes, creeds and custom visit dargah to pray for their family.

According to Mohd Saeed Sheikh, founder of Green Heritage Organisation, “Sayeed Siddiqui Shah Reh Aliah was a famous saint who devoted his life in spreading the ethical and spiritual values of Islam amongst masses. A peculiar kind of fascinating aroma prevails in the shrine throughout time, which inspires the visitors with a spontaneous and irresistible urge towards spirituality. About 300 years ago, there was a dense forest, spread in thousands of acres in the area. But despite of dense forest people suffered with drought. The scarcity of water was such that there was no sign of water streams, lakes or rivers in the forest. All the water bodies were dried. The area was facing famine. Baba Siddiqui Shah and his disciple Baba Khasgir came to this place from Arbasthan and they observed penance in the cave of Bandar Zira. Both had prayed for the welfare, prosperity, peace and harmony of entire humanity. As a result of their prayers, the area got rainfall and all the water bodies were filled with water.”

The sweet water stream started flowing from the hillock and the animals started coming here to drink water. Most of the animals were monkeys, hence, the name ‘Bandar Zira’ (a stream of water where monkey drink the water) came to existence.

“Sayeed Siddiqui Shah Reh Aliah Dargah is a symbol of communal harmony. Situated on the hillock near Ambagad in Tumsar Tehsil, Bandar Zira has been a sacred place for both Hindus and Muslims. The annual Urs has been started from Saturday here and will continue till April 18. Devotees from across the country visit the place during Urs. There is a belief of people residing in the area that during the Urs, the utensils filled with delicious food arrived from the sky,” Saeed Sheikh stated.

The place is picturesque as in rainy season people see the clouds very close to hills. The lake near the hillock is a natural beauty. Thousands of birds visit the lake. The Bawanthadi canal adds beauty in the atmosphere.
During the Urs, number of devotees from across the country visit the dargah and pray for peace, harmony and social integrity. Mahaprasad is distributed throughout the festival. People coming from Bhandara 45 kms from Bhandara city on Tumsar-Mitwani and Gobarwahi Mitwani from Madhya Pradesh Side enjoy the natural beauty. Near the tourist places include Ambagad fort, Dargah of Chand Vali.

Saeed Sheikh said, the place is to be developed as Tourist Place by Government of Maharashtra. A recommendation has been given by Green Heritage Foundation to Maharashtra Government. The very good tourist package could be provided to the people as this place is near to Ambagad fort, Gaimukh, Bawanthadi project etc. Sayeed Siddiqui Shah Reh Aliah Dargah was a great Sufi Saint and dedicated his entire life for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden. On the lines of Tajabad Sharuf this dargah could be developed, he added.

The Government should develop Bhandara district as a tourist centre. Bhandara has its existence since 11th century. The stone inscription of Ratnapur in Bilaspur district has confirmed that the name Bhandara is derived from Bhannara. Bhandara district was governed by feudal dynasty of Lanji from 1818 to 1830 and Lanji was the head quarter of the dynasty. Bhandara district with its head quarter at Bhandara was formed in 1821. Bhandara district is situated on the bank of Vainganga River of Godawari Basin. Bhandara district is encircled by Balaghat district (M.P.) in north, Gondia in east, Chandrapur, in South, and Nagpur in the West. Hilly region of the northern side consists of Satpuda range, Bhivsen Koka are small hillocks in this range. Gaymukh, Ambagad, these are the prominent hills in northern hilly region. This district has tremendous tourism potential, Saeed Sheikh stated. n