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Minaret of Hazrat Syed Ali Hamdani shrine gutted

Minaret of Hazrat Syed Ali Hamdani shrine gutted

Srinagar, Nov 15 (UNI) The minaret of 1400 AD shrine of Hazrat Syed Ali Hamdani on the bank of the Jehlum river in the Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) was damaged in a fire incident early Wednesday morning.

The shrine, the architectural landmark in the valley made of wood, is safe.

The local residents told UNI that fire was caused in the wooden minaret by lightning at 0110 hrs.

However, officials said the cause of fire was being ascertained.

Immediately after the fire was noticed, hundreds of people rushed towards the shrine and informed the fire brigade and police, they said. Fire tenders were rushed from different parts of the city, including fire and emergency headquarters, Batmaloo.

The fire, though immediately brought under control, gutted the steeply-shaped pinnacle over the roof, visible from a distance. Water used to control the fire has entered the main shrine, which has been closed for devotees. The shrine will reopen for devotees only after the water is removed, they said. A large number of volunteers were seen cleaning the surroundings of the shrine and removing half burnt wood of minaret.

The khankah of Hazrat Shahi Hamdan was built by Sultan Sikander in 1400 AD. The architectural landmark in valley is wooden square edifice. However, the space within is filled by dressed bricks.

The Khanqah has caught fire many a times and got damaged. It was last rebuilt in 1732 by Abul Barkat Khan. However, few minor changes have been made since then.

The Shahi Hamdan was born in Hamadan, Iran. He travelled across the continents for twenty-one years in the pursuit of knowledge and spiritual enlightenment. He met 1400 saints in the process before he returned to Hamadan. The Shah of Hamadan visited Kashmir in 1372.

Hamdan did not stay in the valley permanently but visited on various occasions. He had a multi-dimensional personality. He was a social reformer besides being a preacher. Among the 700 followers, who accompanied him to Kashmir, were men of arts and crafts who popularised shawl-making, cloth weaving, cap making, pottery and calligraphy. He also introduced the different handicrafts besides teaching Islam as a result the handicraft industry received a fillip in Kashmir.


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