Tawakkal Mastan Vali

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Tawakkal Mastan Vali is considered by his followers to be a Sufi saint from the Saharwardia Order of the 17th century. His mausoleum is located in the Cottonpet area of Bangalore, India. He is a disciple of the Sufi order of Baba Fakruddin of Penukonda.

A place visited by Hindus and Muslims alike, this dargah has a history of over 200 years. The annual urs is celebrated here on 19 Safar. The dargah's history goes back to the time of Nawab Hyder Ali Khan. The king, after accession to the throne, wanted to build a sloped wall to his fort at Kalasipalya and replace the mud walls with stone walls. Three men — Hazrath Tipu Mastan, Hazarath Manik Mastan, and Hazrath Tawakkal Mastan — came to Bangalore and joined the work force at the construction site. The three worked with other labourers during day, and spent the night, in prayers.

The three, it is said, would not draw salaries, and Hyder was puzzled to note that they were always missing on salary day. Hyder Saheb asked the quiledar to enquire into the mystery. Hyder's maternal uncle, Banke Nawab Ibrahim, who investigated the men, learnt that the three went to mosque in Kumbarpet after work and slept there. When he went to the mosque to look for them, he saw no labourers there, but only three parts of a human body, with two dogs standing guard over them. The quiledar narrated this to Hyder, and he realised instantly that the three were not labourers, but great saints.

The story goes that from the blessings of Hazrat Tipu Mastan, Hyder Ali had a son, whom he appropriately named after the saint. It is said that Hazrat Manik Mastan died in Bangalore and his tomb is on Avenue Road. Tipu Mastan left Bangalore and his tomb is in Arcot in Tamil Nadu. Tawakkal Mastan stayed in Bangalore and settled in Cottonpet, which was then a small area full of thorny shrubs. Hyder Ali Saheb visited the place and wanted to present the saint something. The saint, who did not accept any gifts, asked Hyder Ali to build a mosque there.

Work on the mosque began in 1777 and was completed in 1783 by his son Tipu Sultan. A stone inscription at the tomb states that Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan preached Islam and died in 1777. A book written by Kirmani in Persian, describes Hazrat Tawakklal as a Sufi saint and a disciple of Suharwardia oder of sufism of Penukonda Chowk [Presidency of South India] in Andhra Pradesh.

There is another version to the story, though. According to that version, Tawakkal Mastan, also known by the name Mirza Baig, came to Bangalore from Iran many years ago. He traded in the famous Persian horses. Later, he is said to have given up his trade and devoted all his time to religious pursuits.

Around the same time, Hyder Ali wanted to expand and develop Bangalore. He brought people of the Thigala community from Tiruchinapalli, Arcot, Thanjavur, and Madurai to help him in this work.

Among them was a scholar known for his philanthropic work, aptly called Dharmaraya. Dharmaraya wanted Hyder Ali to build a temple and a math. Hyder Ali constructed the temple and the math, which were named Dharmaraya Swamy Math and Dharmaraya Swamy Temple.

In an interesting development, the two religious systems came together at one point in time, and the annual Karaga of Dharmaraya Swamy visiting Tawakkal Dargah became a tradition. It is considered a sacrilege for the person carrying the Karaga to drop it. The story goes that during Tawakkal's time, one particular year, the person carrying the Karaga stopped at Tawakkal Mastan Dargah and asked for his blessings so that Karaga would not fall off his head. Tawakkal blessed him and asked him to utter "Din, Din".