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Shahdra Sharief

Shahdra Sharief is a revered shrine of Rajouri district. This is a Muslim shrine and it belongs to Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah. Built in 19th century, Shahdra Sharief is close to a beautiful hill standing atop Thana Mandi. This is a half an hour drive from Rajouri. Assumptions have been made that Gulab Singh, army general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, constructed this shrine.

People of all religions visit this shrine and they believe Shahdra Sharief equally sacred. Devotees from all casts pay a visit to the dargah and hence communicate a message of harmony and peace among people.

This shrine in Rajouri town is located at a low level. It has beautiful mountains surrounding from all directions. Mannuwal Nikka Mountain adjoins this shrine from the East while Kopra and Paglan-alli lie in the West. North of this shrine is surrounded by Sirhi and Jammu Chmarer Galli. The shrine looks astonishing with a small stream flowing towards it. Shahdra Sharief is constructed in a Kashmiri style with its exterior decorated of Multani architecture. In late 20th century, the slope that leads to this Muslim shrine was embellished with a Mughal style garden.

SADA BAHAR, a famous tree near the shrine, bears fruits all round the year. It is believed that the fruits here do not decompose with age. They can be stored for longer periods without refrigeration.

Historic Factor

If is said that Gulab Singh, then army general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, was sent by to overpower an adversary. This was in 1820 AD. But most of Gulab Singh’s soldiers died and was left with a small army. It was while camping at Thana Mandi that he heard about Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah. Gulab Singh went to his place near Shahdra to meet him. On seeing Gulab Singh, Baba smiled and when asked, he answered that he smiled on Gulab Singh’s prosperous future.

Baba asked Gulab Singh to look around from the mountain’s peak where he stood at that time. He then informed that all beautiful places that Ghulab could see from here would someday come under his territory. Gulab Singh then climbed the mountain and saw four major regions of Jammu, Kashmir, Tibet and Kishtwar. Pleased by Baba, Gulab Singh asked the holy man to take some land. Baba took a piece in Jammu, which is considered land of Shahdra Sharief. Gulab Singh transferred the land in the name of Baba.

After some time, Baba Ghulam Shah’s prediction came true. Now, Gulab Singh was the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. After his victory, he went to Baba at Shahdra Sharief. However, Baba had left for his holy abode by then. In reverence to the holy man, Gulab Singh got a shrine constructed in the name Shahdra Sharief. Even today, pilgrims of every faith come to this shrine for its serenity, history and religious beliefs.

The Shrine

Ghulam Shah of Syed family made Shahdra his adobe for his entire life. Ziarat Shahdra Sharief is a holy place about 5 km from Thana Mandi and 35 km from Rajouri north. This shrine is associated with great saint Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah. He reached this village in 1765 for meditation. This shrine is surrounded by scenic high mountains, green pastures and dense forests.

A langar is held at Ziarat everyday and it serves around 3000 devotees daily. Kashmiri tea is served inside all day. This shrine can accommodate about 4000 people at a time. It also has space for 800 beds. Shahdra Sharief Jamia Masjid is a mosque attached to the shrine. On 10th of Muharram every year, Urs of Hazrat Ghulam Shah Badshah is celebrated. People pay tribute to the holy saint and offer rice, atta and other items apart from hard cash.

How to Reach

Reaching Shahdra Sharief Shrine is quite convenient. It lies at Rajouri, which is about 177 km from Jammu. One can take a direct train service from major cities of the country like Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore to reach Jammu. Taxi and bus services are easily available at a nominal charge.

Shahdra Sharief is connected with the Rajouri district by a 30 km long road. Bus services from Jammu and Rajouri operates regularly to the shrine. Taxis are also available from Rajouri as well as Jammu to take pilgrims to this very popular Muslim shrine.

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