This Eid, visit Kashmir’s most sacred Muslim shrine, and get lost in its sanctity and serenity. By Swastika Mukhopadhyay
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Photo by @mattbrandon | This is the Harzatbal Shrine in Srinagar, Kashmir. I took this in March on a cool morning way back in 2005. Srinagar's Dal Lake in the foreground and the Pir Panjal Mountains in the back. It is very rare to have a morning so clear that you can see the trees on the mountains 40 miles away! In my 13 years living in the Valley of Kashmir I never again saw it this clear. Use hashtag #captivatingkashmir to get featured.
Situated on the banks of the gorgeous Dal lake and in the backdrop of the majestic Himalayas, the Hazratbal Mosque in Srinagar is a serene, holy place that holds great religious significance. The mosque houses an important relic of prophet Mohammad, Moi-e-Muqaddas, which is believed to be the beard hair of prophet Mohammad. This mosque is visited by devotees in huge numbers, especially during Eid.
What makes Hazratbal Mosque unique?
Nestled in the lap of Himalayas and situated on the banks of the beautiful Dal lake, Hazratbal mosque holds beauty, tranquility, sanctity and spirituality in just the right amounts. The entrance oversees the exquisite Nishat Mughal garden, which was built by Emperor Shah Jahan back in the Mughal era. Hazratbal Mosque holds an importance significance—it houses the relic of Prophet Muhammad. This relic, Moi-e-Muqaddas is believed to be the sacred hair of the prophet Muhammad. This hair was brought to India in 1635 by Syed Abdullah who was a descendant of prophet Muhammad.
Featuring a silvery white appearance, the mosque boasts an exquisite design influenced by Persian and Iranian architecture. It is deemed to be the only domed-roof mosque in Kashmir as all the other mosques have pagoda-like roofs. Hazratbal, also known as Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani and Dargah Sharif is possibly the most revered pilgrimage in Kashmir and as well as in India.
How to reach Hazratbal Mosque?
By Road: You can avail a rental car or a shared car from Srinagar, Dal gate. You can even board a bus that will take you to Hazratbal.
By Shikara: You can also reach Hazratbal by hiring a Shikara. Enjoy the beautiful Dal lake while you paddle away to the holy shrine.
By Air: You can travel to Srinagar by air. The nearest airport is the Srinagar International Airport also known as Sheikh-Ul-Alam International airport. It is located on Aerodrome road, which is 12 km from Srinagar.
By Railway: The nearest railway station is Srinagar.