Maner Sharif Dargah: Heritage to be Proud of

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Maner Sharif is a small town located 25 kilometers (16 mi) west of Patna on NH 30, in Bihar state, India. Maner Sharif shelters two very popular Muslim tombs: One of the tomb is of Sufi saint Makhdoom Yahya Maneri, known as the Bari Dargah (the great shrine). The other one is of Makhdum Shah Daulat, popularly called Chhoti Dargah (the small shrine).

Makhdoom Shah Daulat died in Maner Sharif in 1608 and Ibrahim Khan, Governor of Bihar, built a mausoleum to him that was completed in 1616. There is a big dome on the top whose ceiling is full of different markings depicted from the Quran. In the mediaeval time, Maner Sharif used to be the principal site of learning and knowledge in the region. It also houses a mosque constructed by Ibrahim Khan in 1619.

maner sharifI started my trip with a hope to know more about this pleasing heritage in Maner Sharif but I was startled and amazed at the same time, seeing how something so beautiful and admiring adjoins itself with a surrounding that is so difficult even to stand in. The ‘jheel’ is contaminated, smoldered and polluted. In spite of that, I saw poor children bathing and playing and people living right at the edges of it.

No one - neither the people living there nor the government - seems to care. A good adage fits this condition “Jaise chal rha hai chalne do… nothing is going to change”. The concern for children health, safety, their future is long gone. Everyone is content in their dirty and polluted life. Observing the scenario one gets this idea that heritage in India is only meant to be kept beautiful and pleasing from inside, it concerns no one what the background looks like.

The concerned authority, the government, or the community at large should do the needful so as to protect and present this astonishing heritage. It will also encourage our younger generation to visit, observe and respect these historical places.

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