Hazratbal Shrine, Srinagar

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Dargah Sharief Hazratbal
آستان عالیہ درگاہ حضرت بل
Basic information
LocationHazratbal, Srinagar
Geographic coordinates34°7′45″N 74°50′32″E / 34.12917°N 74.84222°E / 34.12917; 74.84222Coordinates: 34°7′45″N 74°50′32″E / 34.12917°N 74.84222°E / 34.12917; 74.84222
StateJammu and Kashmir
RegionKashmir Valley
Length105 metres (344 ft)
Width25 metres (82 ft)

The Hazratbal Shrine (Urdu, Kashmiri: آستان عالیہ درگاہ حضرت بل, literally "Majestic Place"), is a Muslim shrine in Hazratbal, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. It contains a relic, the Moi-e-Muqqadas, believed by many Muslims of Kashmir to be a hair of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.[1] The name of the shrine comes from the Urdu word Hazrat, meaning "respected", and the Kashmiri word bal, meaning "place". Thus it means the place which is given high regards and is respected among the people.

The shrine is situated on the left bank of the Dal Lake, Srinagar and is considered to be Kashmir's holiest Muslim shrine.[2]

History of the relic[edit]

According to legend, the relic was first brought to Kashmir by Syed Abdullah, a purported descendant of Muhammad who left Medina and settled in Bijapur, near Hyderabad in 1635.[citation needed]

When Syed Abdullah died, his son, Syed Hamid, inherited the relic. Following the Mughal conquest of the region, Syed Hamid was stripped of his family estates. Finding himself unable to care for the relic, he sold it to a wealthy Kashmiri businessman, Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai.[citation needed]

However, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb came to know of what had transpired, he had the relic seized and sent to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer, and had Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai imprisoned in Delhi for possessing the relic. Later, realizing his mistake, Aurangzeb decided to restore the relic to Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai and allowed him to take it to Kashmir. However, by that point, Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai had already died in imprisonment. In the year 1700, the relic finally reached Kashmir, along with the body of Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai. There, Inayat Begum, daughter of Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai, became a custodian of the relic and established the shrine. Since then her male descendats have been caretakers of the relic.[3]

Hazratbal disappearance episode[edit]

The relic was reported disappeared on 26 December 1963. There were mass protests all over the state on the disappearance of the Moi-e-Muqaddas (the Hair of the Prophet) with hundreds of thousands out in the streets. The Awami Action Committee was formed to recover the relic. On 31 December the Prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru made a broadcast to the nation on the disappearance of the sacred relic. The relic was recovered on 4 January 1964.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Moslems Riot Over Theft of Sacred Relic", Chicago Tribune, 29 December 1963, p1
  2. ^ "Kashmir Yield at Shrine". New York Times. 7 August 1994. The shrine is known by many names including Hazratbal, Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani, or simply Dargah Sharif.
  3. ^ a b Hari Narain Verma; Amrit Verma (1998). Decisive battles of India through the ages, Volume II. GIP Books. p. 124. ISBN 978-1-881155-04-1. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
  4. ^ Neelam Francesca; Rashmi Srivastava (2008). Secularism in the postcolonial Indian novel: national and cosmopolitan narratives in English. Volume 17 of Routledge research in postcolonial literatures. Routledge. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-415-40295-8. Retrieved 2010-06-22.