Vintage Kashmir

Revisiting Aishmuqam

Most cinema-goers in India saw Adnan Sami performing ‘Bhar de jholi meri ya Muhammad‘, at a picturesque shrine, in Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan. That was Aishmuqam shrine by the side of Lidder Valley in Anantnag, South Kashmir. This is the same Aishmuqam shrive over a hundred years ago. Shrine of Sufi saint Baba Zaina-ud-din Wali on a hillock at Ashmuqam is 86 kms from Srinagar on route of Pahalgam. Commonly known as “Zaino Shah Sahib”, the Sufi was a follower of Alamdar e Kashmir “Shiekh Noor ud Din”. The main sanctorum is situated inside deep and narrow caves and several relics are associated. One of the relics is “The Rod of Staff” of Prophet Moses, which is believed to have been gifted by Shah Hamdan to Shiekh Noor-Ud-Din Noorani who further handed over the relic to his disciple. In about 15th century, Baba Zaina-ud-Din Wali belonged to Hindu family from Kishtawar (Doda), His name was Zia Singh. He suffered from a disease that could not be cured by any doctor of that time. When he approached the famous Saint Shaikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, his disease was cured. There after Zia Singh became Sheikh’s disciple and he accepted Islam. One week long Zool festival is celebrated in the month of April in respect of the Shiekh Zaina-ud-din Wali in a peculiar way of holding torchlights “leshi” in a procession, which start in the shrine, are displayed to the public for seeking blessings.

 

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