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The Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah [Sufi Shrine] in Khuldabad attracts hundreds of pilgrims each year for ordinary rituals such as seeking the blessings of praying at a holy place. But this Dargah draws people from long distances for more specific purposes too.   Dargah Zar Zari Zar Baksh Thousands of pilgrims travel to the Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah for the urs or death anniversary of the saint, immediately followed by the commemoration of the death of the Prophet Muhammad. According to several administrators of the Dargah, three to four lakhs of people (300,000-400,000) participate in these celebrations.

Bangles Tied Above Doorway
Many pilgrims to the Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah seek the help of the saint and his mother in conceiving a child or finding a husband. As a sign of their petition, the women tie a small thread or a glass bangle, often green, above the doorway to the tomb. The women also tie a thread on their own wrists for a month and 7 days.
Women Making Petitions at Saint's Mother's Tomb
If they conceive within this time, they promise to return with the child to the Dargah before the child reaches the age of five years to give thanks in the traditional child weighing ritual. Two Babies for Weighing
Baby in Pink Closeup

Weighing Basket
In this ritual, when this child reaches an age of approximately nine months to several years, the family returns to the Dargah to perform a ritual in which the child is weighed and an amount of sweetbreads, based on the weight of the child, is distributed. Baby In Pink
In the center of the Dargah a huge tree supports a large metal balance consisting of two metal baskets suspended from either end of a rod positioned over a tree strong branch. Large Metal Balance
Supported by Tree

Baby With Red Socks and
2 Year Old Brother

Baby With Red Socks Closeup
The child is placed in one basket while the other is filled with the equivalent weight of sweetbreads. When the two baskets reach a balance, the family picks up the child and distributes the sweets. Baby With Red Socks and Sweetbreads
The administrators of the shrine told us that several thousand babies are brought to be weighed each year at the Dargah, and in only two weeks, we witnessed perhaps 7-10 of these happy occasions.
Girl In Blue Scarf With Brother

Girl In Blue Scarf Closeup


Girl In Blue Scarf
(both sides even)

Each family invited us to take photos, share the sweetbreads, and participate in the joyousness of celebrating their healthy children.
Girl In Blue Scarf Closeup
Several people told us that the prayers of women at this shrine are more efficacious than men's prayers. We spoke to women from villages hours away who had come with their families to pray for the blessing of healthy children or the blessing of finding good husbands for their daughters.
Family of Girl In Blue Scarf
Baby girls and baby boys appeared to be weighed in exactly the same manner and the large family groups accompanying these babies from towns and villages several hours away seemed to be equally proud and happy celebrating both girl and boy children as blessed by the saint.