The saint of this popular Dargah, Muntajib al-Din, known best by his epithet Zar Zari Zar Baksh, is said to have come to this area of the Deccan in the fourteenth century at the request of his teacher, Nizamuddin Awliya of Delhi.

Khuldabad sign

Several apocryphal stories are told about Muntajib al-Din to account for the name, Zar Zari Zar Baksh, "the giver of the essence of gold", but historical data notes simply that he was a practicing Sufi who often retreated to a hill cave near the place where his tomb was eventually built.
Carl Ernst in his extensive study of the shrines of Khuldabad, The Eternal Garden, says about Muntajib al-Din (p. 235): "Although his connection with the Chishti tradition is beyond doubt, the lack of any contemporary account leaves him [Muntajib al-Din] in the fog of legend, forever beyond the grasp of our knowledge."
However the widespread stories of prayers answered at this tomb have made the Dargah of Zar Zari Zar Baksh an important pilgrimage sites for Sufis in the Deccan and other parts of India. According to the managers of the Dargah, people have come from other Muslim countries to this shrine.
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. 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.

Dargah Zar Zari Zar Baksh

Dargah Cloth Seller

Dargah Flowerseller January

Dargah Flowerseller
Boys at Dargah:
Sayeed and Friends
Dargah Inner Courtyard
Walking up the steps and through the archway entrance to the dargah, one enters the courtyard leading to another set of steps and arched doorway. Once inside that doorway, one is face to face with the tomb of the saint, Zar Zari Zar Baksh. Behind the saint's tomb, is the tomb of his mother.
Tomb Shrine

Tomb of Mother of
Zar Zari Zar Baksh

Women with Petitions
However, most pilgrims to the Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah travel to seek the help of this saint and his mother in conceiving a child or finding a husband. Though women are not allowed inside the small room that houses the tomb, they stand or sit just outside the doorway praying for the saint's blessing. A man from the Dargah indicates this blessing by tapping them quickly on their heads and shoulders with a small bunch of peacock feathers.
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.
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 a traditional child weighing ritual.
Offering Bangles at Shrine of Saint's Mother
Dargah Mosque

Within the innermost courtyard of the dargah, to the side of the tombs, is a mosque where anyone visiting the dargah prays when the muezzin sings the call to prayer. Although women might be visiting the dargah, only men were observed performing the prayer ritual at this mosque.



Dargah Mosque Mehrab

Mosque Clock

As in all mosques, the clock is displayed prominently reminding Muslims of the five prayer times.
Verse from the Quran Facing the Tomb of the Saint

Discussion in Courtyard with
Lake Forest College Student

Mark in conversations with Ahmad Bhai, administrator of dargah, about the practice of Sufi devotional singing, qawwali, in Islam and, more particularly, in Khuldabad.
Dargah Zar Zari Zar Baksh

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